Canalys unafraid to count iPad, puts Apple third in worldwide PC market share

Canalys today announced strong PC industry growth of 19% in Q4 2010, with Apple climbing to third place in the market, thanks to impressive iPad and Mac sales, as well as fast growth in Asia Pacific. The analyst company attributes the majority of Q4 market growth to the rising demand for pads, a new product category.

“Pads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday season,” said Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling in the press release. “While they do not appeal to first-time buyers or low-income households, they are proving extremely popular as additional computing devices.”

Canalys urges vendors to accept new market realities, by recognizing pads as an integral new component of the overall PC landscape. Unlike other analyst companies, Canalys incorporates pad shipments, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple’s iPad, in its total PC market report.

“Pads gave the market momentum in 2010, just as netbooks did the year before,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam in the press release. “We are encouraging vendors to plan for the future and not to remain stuck in the past.”

“Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,” said Chiam. “With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without.”

“Each new product category typically causes a significant shift in market shares,” said Chiam. “Apple is benefiting from pads, just as Acer, Samsung and Asus previously did with netbooks. The PC industry has always evolved this way, starting when Toshiba and Compaq rode high on the original notebook wave.”

At a regional level, Asia, especially China and India, continued to outperform most of the other global markets, to the benefit of Lenovo and Dell. In the United States, sales recovered somewhat, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa remained an ongoing concern due to substantial consumer inventory build-up. Moving forward, inventory issues will be exacerbated by rising VAT levels across five countries – Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the UK – as well as the urgency created by the upcoming Intel refresh. As a result, Canalys predicts significant retail discounting in this region during the first quarter.

Other bright spots for the PC industry included accelerating corporate refresh programmes, as Windows 7 became an accepted operating system. This trend favoured vendors with a solid presence in B2B, notably HP, Dell and Lenovo. Canalys also noted strong demand for servers and storage, driven by substantial investment in data centre infrastructure.

“Recessionary budgets are over for most companies, and IT expenditure is again being used as a catalyst for growth,” said Coulling. “The performance of the corporate market, however, contrasts starkly with the decline in public sector expenditure in most Western countries. The big service-led companies, which profited greatly from huge government-led contracts, are in for a tough 2011.”

MacDailyNews Take: Bravo to Canalys for having the balls to tell it like it is. Here’s to IDC, Gartner and the rest each growing a pair sooner than later, too.

Source: Canalys


  1. If they really want to tell it like it is…. include iPhone and iPod Touch in the list as computers. Since many of those also rans said the iPad was just a big Touch, then give them their wish!

    Since I am waiting for iPad II, I have not stopped using my Touches as tools (computers) for my service business. It is a computer to me. On the touch…..Filemaker Go accesses all of my FMP 10 databases, Via other apps I can view and edit almost anything I need on the touch… so why is it not a computer?

    Add Touch/iPhone to the list….. then move Apple up! Maybe to the top! …where it already is for me!


  2. @Joe

    You’ve been waiting this whole time for the iPad 2? To quote from the article, you are “simply out of sync”.

    You can get refurbished iPads (from Apple) for $429 now.

    You have missed out on 10 months of pure iPad bliss. It has literally changed the way I use computers. I hardly ever use my laptop or desktop at home any more. It’s almost all on the iPad.

    I’m sure whenever you get an iPad, you will love it. But next time, I would suggest getting on the iPad band wagon sooner, rather than later.

  3. I am glad to see someone now including tablets as PCs, this is forward thinking.  With all the competitors coming out with a tablet it will be needed.  I do think the iPod touch is a big question to answer, espicaly with Samgsung saying they will have a Android one soon.  If it was included just think where Apple would be.  I side with no it is not a PC.  I would go with a pocket device; you could lump music players and game players in with it.  Apple puts in their iPod line.  

    Dell, they sell a million more PC’s and still get burned.  The Streak, I believe, had a 5″ screen and was sold with a 2 year contract.  This is more like a phone, or pocket device than a tablet.  Does it really  matter, did anyone buy one?

    The big looser will be MS.  This will knock them out of being 90% of PCs, it is posable the will be in the 70’s next year.

  4. @Vatdoro

    Of course you are right. So what happens? I wait until like October to think serious about buying one, then some how talk myself into it thinking the ipad 2 will be out at the beginning of the new year. By end Decemeber when i realize it wont be out until April, not Jan/Feb, its too late. I now tell my self better to wait for the refresh. So, now i wait i wait i wait.

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