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  • Thanks to iPad, Apple is Now #3 in PC Sales


    Thanks to Apple's much-adored tablet, the company has skyrocketed over the past year in computer sales, becoming the #3 computer manufacturer worldwide.

    According to a new report, the tablet helped Apple secure a 19% fourth-quarter growth in sales, and an incredibly impressive 241% year-over-year growth. With just 3.8% of the total computer sales worldwide in Q4 2009, the new results show that Apple sold 10.8% of all PCs, when you include the tablet in the figures. That number just edges out Dell, making Apple the new #3 PC Manufacturer in the world.

    The report comes from the company Canalys, who controversially decided to include all tablets in their market research. Ahead of Apple in the numbers are Acer, which saw an 8.8% percent growth, and HP which shipped 18.7 million units in Q4. Their year-over-year growth did slip to 2.9%, however companies such as Dell and Lenovo still experienced double-digit growth.

    There is sure to be controversy in the company's inclusion of tablets, including the iPad. Issuing a statement on that topic specifically. Canalys' claims that tablets and computers are one and the same.

    "Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync… with screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to notebooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist."
    With even more tablets expected to be sold in 2011, it seems that this controversy will continue, with the line between mobile device and portable computer being blurred more and more. Regardless, the evidence is clear, if one does consider the tablet a computer, than Apple is poised to garner even more of the market share if their iPad and Macs continue to sell at rapid rates.

    Source:
    Canalys
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Thanks to iPad, Apple is Now #3 in PC Sales started by Matt Savoca View original post
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. nmejunkie's Avatar
      nmejunkie -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      LOL what? Why is the iPad (or any tablet) being considered a pc?

      The main difference is primary use. iPad is a device made for consumption. A PC, for production. There really is not argument here. Try and PRODUCE something on iPad as elegantly as you would on a desktop/laptop. It simply isn't going to happen. Next we will consider big screen TVs with web apps built in a PC sale... I mean they are over 7 inches and have the computing power, right?
      I use my ipad for all my school stuff... thats pretty productive
    1. garylin's Avatar
      garylin -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      I've never seen a PC that had to be activated BY another PC and required you to connect TO a PC to download software updates before.

      In fact I don't think I saw a single reference to the iPad as a "Personal Computer" on Apple's website. But it does say you need a PC to use it though. Doesn't take a genius to put two and two together.

      Case and point.....not a true PC.....it just shares aspects of PCs just like many other devices.

      Get over it! It's not a PC.
      I bought my first IBM computer x86 (PC with no CD drive) back in 1990(20 years ago), which has less computing or functioning power than an iPad. It still works. Should I not call it a PC any more?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Quote Originally Posted by nmejunkie View Post
      I use my ipad for all my school stuff... thats pretty productive
      Sire it can be used for that
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Good for kids too
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Two things:

      1) The historical definition of a PC was a computer that was small enough for personal use, contrasted with larger mainframe systems. These computers didn't have CD-ROMs, Internet access, or GUIs. In recent times, this term was alternatively used to mean "IBM PC-compatible" to contrast with Apple's Mac. Some people seem to be confusing it with "that thing thats sitting in my desk right now, and all of its current features and loaded software". I'm not sure where that definition comes from, but it seems influenced by retailers like Best Buy. You won't find Apple's website telling you that an iPad is a PC, but they don't tell you a Mac is one either. They had years of TV commercials trying to make just that distinction.

      2) Everyone seems to be getting way too caught up in the definition of a PC, and completely missing the point of the report. If you can look past or just ignore that for a moment, and engage in this thought experiment:

      If we group the iPad as a consumer computer in the same category as existing PCs, we see that Apples market share in general, and growth in particular, have massively larger numbers than when considered alone.

      That's the point they're making. They're not saying that an iPad is a PC (or that it even matters). They're not saying you can't also look at desktop or laptop sales separately, or that you can't compare Windows to Mac. They're just saying that there is enough overlap in these products and their use that from a market analysis perspective (that's who this is written for btw, it's not a weekly sales flyer) there is reason to also consider a view where these products compete with one another.

      Do you guys really feel that iPads and PCs (however you define that) are such completely different products without any overlap that nobody would ever be faced with the possibility of buying one rather than the other? Why such hostility to seeing the sales numbers compared that you have to attack the very idea of comparing them?
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Quote Originally Posted by x98car View Post
      Good for kids too
      I agree
    1. texasfatboy's Avatar
      texasfatboy -
      Dont get me wrong...i know this is an apple forum but the only reason apple sales are so high is due to the iphone and ipad. Their computers are to fragile, and the os is meant for people who dont know how to use a computer. They treat their customers like children. Let's not even mention price issues. The mobile devices are great! You cant find another device that can do a fraction of the things they can,nor the accessory base. But, it ends there. The laptops and desktops are a joke. When someone tells me they own a mac it tells me one of two things about a person: 1 they are computer illiterates, or 2 they are into graphic design. Either way it doesnt instill alot of confidence upon their intelligence. Real compiter users will atleast run windows or the serious ones like myself who arent afraid use unix. Hell even linux(this is a joke os too but better than apple's option) would be an improvement. I shake my head at the idiots using bootcamp to run windows or linux on a mac. Kinda wasted alot of money and for what? A pretty apple inscribed on the lid and hardware issues? Ha! Those are folks with more money than sense.
    1. texasfatboy's Avatar
      texasfatboy -
      Also since when is apple a pc? One of the difining characteristics of a pc is windows. Are you telling me apple makes a windows 7 ipad now? Hahahahaha
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by garylin View Post
      I bought my first IBM computer x86 (PC with no CD drive) back in 1990(20 years ago), which has less computing or functioning power than an iPad. It still works. Should I not call it a PC any more?
      When did I ever mention anything about CD drives or computing power? Did you have to activate your IBM computer by connecting it to a PROGRAM on another computer?
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Did you have to activate your IBM computer by connecting it to a PROGRAM on another computer?
      Actually Apple will be happy to activate it for you in store, and you'll never need to hook it up to a computer again.

      The irony of course being your profile says you use Windows Vista, which is Microsoft's second OS to require activation by connecting to a program on another computer. Assuming you're not into software piracy of course.
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by texasfatboy View Post
      Also since when is apple a pc? One of the difining characteristics of a pc is windows. Are you telling me apple makes a windows 7 ipad now? Hahahahaha
      Oh you fail so much

      One of the difining characteristics of a pc is windows.
      Really? What about Linux or other UNIX based OS's?
      Your even using a Unix system yourself!

      Also since when is an apple mac a pc?
      Including all the words in a sentence makes it easer to understand.

      Hahahahaha
      Yes, hahahahaha, your post did make me laugh.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      Actually Apple will be happy to activate it for you in store, and you'll never need to hook it up to a computer again.

      The irony of course being your profile says you use Windows Vista, which is Microsoft's second OS to require activation by connecting to a program on another computer. Assuming you're not into software piracy of course.
      And what does Apple connect it to to activate it?.......one of their iMac computers of course! Wow...who would've known!

      How does Vista require secondary computer activation. I bought my desktop and it was ready to go when I turned it on. Last I remember I didn't plug it into anything except the Internet. And by the way Vista is an OPERATING SYSTEM.....not a computer. So how does that bare any relevance?
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      And what does Apple connect it to to activate it?.......one of their iMac computers of course! Wow...who would've known!

      How does Vista require secondary computer activation. I bought my desktop and it was ready to go when I turned it on. Last I remember I didn't plug it into anything except the Internet. And by the way Vista is an OPERATING SYSTEM.....not a computer. So how does that bare any relevance?
      It bears relevance because you implied external activation, among other things, somehow makes something not a computer. Windows connects to another computer (Microsoft's activation server) to activate itself after an install. A selection of OEMs are able to bypass this with a SLP key for new hardware, but it you re-install it you'll still need to activate. Here's more information on it if you really don't believe me: Windows Product Activation. If you really want to make the point that Windows, not the physical computer, is what requires activation, then you should consider that iOS, not the iPad hardware is what requires activation.

      You can't just make a laundry list of specific features that apply to the computer on your desk as it is right now, and say that anything that doesn't match those specific conditions isn't a computer.

      Well you can, but it doesn't matter because this analysis doesn't depend on what you call them.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      It bears relevance because you implied external activation, among other things, somehow makes something not a computer. Windows connects to another computer (Microsoft's activation server) to activate itself after an install. A selection of OEMs are able to bypass this with a SLP key for new hardware, but it you re-install it you'll still need to activate. Here's more information on it if you really don't believe me: Windows Product Activation. If you really want to make the point that Windows, not the physical computer, is what requires activation, then you should consider that iOS, not the iPad hardware is what requires activation.

      You can't just make a laundry list of specific features that apply to the computer on your desk as it is right now, and say that anything that doesn't match those specific conditions isn't a computer.

      Well you can, but it doesn't matter because this analysis doesn't depend on what you call them.
      Well theoretically I get your point, but doesn't a computer server serve a different overall task than a personal computer? It's not the computer that activates the iPad, but rather a program that has to be installed on the computer in order to activate the iPad.
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Well theoretically I get your point, but doesn't a computer server serve a different overall task than a personal computer? It's not the computer that activates the iPad, but rather a program that has to be installed on the computer in order to activate the iPad.
      It does serve a different purpose, and wouldn't actually be considered a PC by the original use of the term. But chances are good that it runs on similar hardware and software that you'd find in a PC. So is it hardware or software that makes a PC? (It's actually neither).

      If I have a PC with Windows installed on it, and I activate IIS and serve web pages, is it no longer a PC? What if I install Linux and run it as a network router and fileserver without a monitor? Is it still a PC? If I SSH into it an browse a website with lynx does it become a PC again? What about if I take it and hook it up to my TV as a HTPC, and it's only used to play media, is it a PC then? If I install a game on it does it become a PC again? How about a web browser? Is Microsoft Office the defining characteristic that would turn it back into a PC? How about a public PC that's been locked down to prevent modification? Is it a PC to the owner, but not a PC to the public users? If I take my iPhone and shoot, edit, and upload a movie from it, is it now a PC because it created content? If I install android on it so it doesn't need to be activated with iTunes, does that turn it into a PC? What about the new Motorola Atrix android phone that lets you dock it with a keyboard / monitor / mouse and run an embedded copy of Linux with a full Firefox desktop browser. Is that a PC now? Only some of the time maybe?

      I could go on and on like that, but I hope I made the point that it's not always a clear distinction. Originally a PC was a "portable" computer that an individual could use to run their own software. In the last several years we've seen more and more devices take on those characteristics. Excluding them from being called PCs just because they don't share arbitrary characteristics doesn't serve any purpose that I can see other than to impair future insights and discoveries in the computer field.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      It does serve a different purpose, and wouldn't actually be considered a PC by the original use of the term. But chances are good that it runs on similar hardware and software that you'd find in a PC. So is it hardware or software that makes a PC? (It's actually neither).

      If I have a PC with Windows installed on it, and I activate IIS and serve web pages, is it no longer a PC? What if I install Linux and run it as a network router and fileserver without a monitor? Is it still a PC? If I SSH into it an browse a website with lynx does it become a PC again? What about if I take it and hook it up to my TV as a HTPC, and it's only used to play media, is it a PC then? If I install a game on it does it become a PC again? How about a web browser? Is Microsoft Office the defining characteristic that would turn it back into a PC? How about a public PC that's been locked down to prevent modification? Is it a PC to the owner, but not a PC to the public users? If I take my iPhone and shoot, edit, and upload a movie from it, is it now a PC because it created content? If I install android on it so it doesn't need to be activated with iTunes, does that turn it into a PC? What about the new Motorola Atrix android phone that lets you dock it with a keyboard / monitor / mouse and run an embedded copy of Linux with a full Firefox desktop browser. Is that a PC now? Only some of the time maybe?

      I could go on and on like that, but I hope I made the point that it's not always a clear distinction. Originally a PC was a "portable" computer that an individual could use to run their own software. In the last several years we've seen more and more devices take on those characteristics. Excluding them from being called PCs just because they don't share arbitrary characteristics doesn't serve any purpose that I can see other than to impair future insights and discoveries in the computer field.
      Wow. So how do we know the iPad is a PC then since there are so many variables that can define or un-define a PC?
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Wow. So how do we know the iPad is a PC then since there are so many variables that can define or un-define a PC?
      That's kind of my point. You can't use all of those variables to define or un-define a PC like most people in this thread seemed to want to do. By the classic definition, the iPad is a PC. But that doesn't really matter because what we call it isn't as important as the perspective that allows the analysis. You can call them all cupcakes. It doesn't really matter. There is an overlap in features and use scenarios, which makes the devices competitive at at least some level for some customers. As time goes on, that overlap will only broaden. That's why from a market analyst perspective it makes sense to include a comparison.

      Dismissing that by saying an iPad doesn't conform to some arbitrary definition of a PC is what I don't get.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      So deciding whether the iPad is a PC is just a matter of perspective and opinion then. Too much grey area to decide. I guess that makes sense.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      That's an interesting comparison, since modern CPUs have mostly done away with anything that would have resembled a traditional north bridge, moving the functionality on core. This is done to a much greater extent in mobile processors to make what's called a System on Chip (SoC). Just because you condense the functionality to a single chip doesn't mean it isn't there anymore.

      Things will blur even more when Microsoft releases Windows 8 for ARM, and you've got the same operating system running on "PCs" and "Non-PCs". Is an ARM Windows 8 laptop no longer a PC because it has an integrated memory controller?
      I disagree that "things will blur even more", as Windows for mobile architectures is nothing new what so ever. Windows CE goes back over decade. There's also Windows XP Embedded, which is a stripped down version of XP designed to run on all sorts of compact/special hardware, such as thin clients, and I believe there are variants based on Vista or 7 iirc.