Check out this stunning snapshot of the computer market, with and without iPad

“If tablets are computers, Apple’s share of the global market now dwarfs its competitors,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore came away from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas unimpressed with what Apple’s (AAPL) rivals had to offer in the way of tablet computers,” P.E.D. reports. “As if to underscore his point, Whitmore’s note to clients Friday included the above chart, showing what IDC’s picture of the global computer market would look like if the tracking firm counted tablets as computers.”

Global computing marketshare including and excluding iPad

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, iPads are personal computers, perhaps the most personal of all computers, and any tracking firm that continues to fail to include them in their personal computer tallies runs the risk of losing much credibility and usefulness. Get with the times IDC and Gartner!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple Mac, Windows PC killer – January 12, 2012
U.S. Windows PC shipments drop 6% in holiday quarter as Apple Macs surge 21% – January 11, 2012
J.P. Morgan: Apple’s MacBook Air to dominate ultrabook market – December 12, 2011
Why Apple will be the world’s #1 personal computer maker in 2012 – December 5, 2011
Apple on track to overtake HP, become leading global PC vendor – November 21, 2011
Gartner: Apple Mac share up 20% in Europe YOY as PC shipments plunge 11.4% – November 14, 2011
Surging iPad shipments propel Apple to #1 in worldwide mobile computer market share – February 16, 2011
Canalys unafraid to count iPad, puts Apple third in worldwide PC market share – January 26, 2011
DisplaySearch not afraid to count iPad: Apple #1 mobile PC maker in North America, #3 in world – December 7, 2010


  1. I wonder, though, if this chart also includes Samsung Galaxy Tabs, Motorola Exhume tablets, as well as other similar devices (Viewsonic ViewPads, Acer Iconia, Asus EEE Pad, not to mention the famous TouchPad and Playbook devices, etc)? If it does not, it is a bit ingenuous, since these others are technically tablets as much as the iPad is. While they don’t sell much compared to the iPads, they do sell well, compared to the desktop PCs.

    And then there’s Kindle Fire and Nook Colour…

    1. That would be “disingenous”, not ingenuous. That said, this chart still is jaw-dropping and accurate in that it compares PC sales by the global market leaders. None of these other manufacturers listed have any significant tablet sales anyway. Clearly, it also doesn’t include Amazon Kindle, but I don’t think it purports to compare all sales…

      It’s still documents an impressive shift in technology.

      1. ingenuous… Can’t believe I wrote that…

        Yes, I agree, a massive shift indeed. It will take a few years for the dust to settle but what I’m looking forward to is seeing who will end up left standing when the dust does settle. My money is on the Chinese (Lenovo, Asus, Acer), rather than Dell or HP.

    2. RE: “While they don’t sell much compared to the iPads, they do sell well, compared to the desktop PCs.”

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that statement personally. I agree they DO sell well when they are sold at fire barn prices (aka the liquidation price of $100 for Playbook when HP was desperate to clear out inventory and leave tablet market).

      Regarding numbers of tablets sold, Amazon hasn’t dared released separate Kindle Fire numbers from the entire lineup of models of the Kindle. This would imply Amazon doesn’t feel like it has any bragging rights by not releasing actual Kindle Fire numbers. The Nook Colour recently started cutting prices with promotional deals so it’s apparent they aren’t making much traction either. The Playbook’s price has been cut in half so once again it doesn’t seem to imply they are selling like hotcakes (lol!).

      I would not be so sure that these tablets are selling well compared to their desktop PC brethren as you are Predrag. I believe this guy is on the mark. People don’t want a tablet.. they want an iPad. The only company that makes the iPad is Apple. Case closed.

    3. Actually, including SGTs or Motorolas wouldn’t affect the chart one bit. The only one it would affect is the Acer line, but even so, it’d only affect it a little.

  2. In terms of the strict definition they’re PCs (they are literally computing devices, and they are used in a personal fashion). In terms of how these devices are being used, they are either PC replacements, or are used for things that only a PC could have done a couple of years ago. And on top of that, the average selling price of an iPad is more than most of the desktop junk the others are selling.

    It’s almost as if back in the late 80s, the analysts had decided that Laptops & Notebooks weren’t PCs.

  3. I agree… it can be a slippery slope when deciding what is a “computer”. I actually consider my smartphone more of a computer than the Kindle Fire. Screen size does not a computer make.

    I think the lines between what is and is not a “computer” are only going to become more difficult to draw in the next couple of years.

  4. But, but but they don’t have a physical keyboard and aren’t attractive to business . . . Gee, doesn’t that sound like something we heard before about the iPhone from Monkey Boy? I guess that proves it, iPads aren’t computers and iPhones aren’t good smart phones.

  5. The iPad is a wonderful gadget and distraction from life’s important activities. But – regardless of the insistence of MDN (who believe THEY are the authority) – it’s not any kind of computer. I somehow have two iPads, seldom use them, in fact I think they both need charging right now but no need since I don’t have any reason to turn either of them on.

    1. If they’re not a computer then pull the CPU, drive, operating system and applications that defines what a computer is from the iPad and see where that gets you.

    2. Uhm, Steve Ballmer has categorically stated that the iPad is a PC. Canalys has also decided that the iPad is a PC and includes them in their PC industry stats. When Win8 comes out and when the iPad3 includes a quad core processor, the line between tablet and PC will blur even further.

      Your anecdotal evidence is ludicrous. I mean, I could say I have two PC laptops that I “seldom use.. in fact I think they both need charging right now but no need since I don’t have any reason to turn either of them on”, doesn’t mean they aren’t PCs.

    3. I waver between whether iPads are “PCs” myself, but that’s a silly argument. It’s like saying the unused Windows desktop, laptop and iMac I have in my storage closet aren’t computers, because I don’t use them and have no reason to turn them on or plug them into the wall.

    4. You are one clueless individual! The iPad is a “distraction from life’s important activities”??? What planet do you live on? Doctors, airline pilots, teachers of autistic children… The iPad has found a place in a mind-boggling array of very important industries, your smug pronouncement notwithstanding. Nice try, but no cigar!

    5. To ron the troll (?) I would have to say let Wiki answer that.
      “A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator. In contrast, the batch processing ….

      Software applications for personal computers include, but are not limited to, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, Web browsers and e-mail clients, digital media playback, games, and myriad personal productivity and special-purpose software applications. Modern personal computers often have connections to the Internet, allowing access to the World Wide Web and a wide range of other resources. Personal computers may be connected to a local area network (LAN), either by a cable or a wireless connection. A personal computer may be a desktop computer or a laptop, tablet, or a handheld PC.”

      Add a Bluetooth keyboard and a wireless printer and BINGO ..

      It just computes!!! LOL

  6. If they can count cash registers, we can count iPads.

    I edit graphics files, music, layout etc on a Mac all day.

    I can do all these things on an iPad as well, but II certainly can’t do this on a cash register, and yet they are counted in with the ‘computer’ figures whilst iPads are not.

    1. “…If they can count cash registers, we can count iPads…”

      Well said. The overall PC sales count always has been distorted…

      Break down the overall market further by separating all versions of Windows still in use and you’ll see many people still use older versions. Then, you realize it’s at least possible that Microsoft’s cash cow really could be taken down over time, one switcher at a time.

      Likely? Maybe not. But then again, five years ago, who would have imagined such a shift? Only Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and the merry band in Cupertino orchards.

  7. I say follow the consumer and compare apples to apples!

    If the data for the other manfacturers includes net books, then the Apple data should most definately include iPad.

    Afterall, why else have net book sales collapsed since mid-2010 when the iPad was launched?

  8. That graph sure does make it look like iPads are stealing some PC sales. As iPad goes up, the others, well… thanks for playing guys. Isn’t it fun to extrapolate all the curves (especially to see PCs hit the bottom!

    I think most consumers don’t really need a desktop or even a laptop. They just surf the web, email and photos. I bet most consumers never open a word processor or spreadsheet. These people don’t need complicated and persnickety PCs!

  9. The iPad is most certainly a computer. Just because it doesn’t run a “desktop” OS, does not mean it is not a computer. Even the iPhone and iPod touch are computers.

    Just watch, attitudes will change once Microsoft releases Windows 8. Then all of a sudden tablets will be included as PCs.

  10. Yes, Tablets are cool. I love my iPad2 but There are way to many modern computer tasks that it can’t do for me to include it in this list. Give it another couple OS upgrades and we should be there but not quite yet. Also storage, yes I know about cloud this and that but my MacBook’s built in storage is always there when connected to the net or not.

    Close, but not quite.

  11. sometime back NDP said they won’t count iPads as ‘PCs’ although they have counted Windows Tablets as PCs for years. They said (not my opinion) that iPads were not fully functional as Windows Tablets. They said they would count the HP Slate running Windows but not the iPad. Then when HP said they would use WebOS instead a reporter asked NDP if it would count it and in the video interview the NDP rap stammered and couldn’t give a straight answer..!

    I’m not sure why they count they way they do but I suspect so many of these ‘analyst’ firms have clients in the PC related business including services, accessory makers etc who use the reports for sales, shareholder info, bank loans etc and it’s not their interest to depict PC sales as in trouble anymore than they absolutely have to.

    similarly analsyt firms are determined to count every Android phone as a smartphone even though some low end ones (millions in asia) don’t even run Google services or Android apps.

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