Canalys today announced that it expects Apple to overtake HP to become the leading global PC vendor before the second half of 2012. Pads, and particularly the iPad, have radically changed the dynamics of the PC industry over the last year, already propelling Apple into second place in the worldwide PC market in Q3 2011. Canalys estimates full-year 2011 global PC shipments to reach 415 million, up 15% year-on-year, thanks predominantly to increasing pad sales.
Total pad shipments are expected to reach 59 million units by the end of 2011, with Q4 volumes predicted to exceed 22 million. While the iPad will dominate in Q4, the recently announced Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are also anticipated to impact the US market.
Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9% to 15% in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market – the United States – are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points.
Notebook sales also helped fuel market growth in 2011, with total shipments anticipated to hit 211 million, a 10% year-on-year increase. Canalys expects Ultrabooks, bringing much needed innovation to the category, to drive notebook sales over the next five years. With their differentiated appearance, Ultrabooks should spur some consumers to upgrade their existing notebooks.
“For Ultrabooks to become widespread, prices have to drop considerably,” said Canalys Research Analyst Michael Kauh. “The least expensive models are currently around $800, a real barrier to mass consumer uptake. As more vendors embrace the Ultrabook design, component costs should drop and mainstream consumer prices will be achieved.”
On a regional level, Canalys forecasts North America PC shipments to reach 103 million for the whole of 2011, with 32 million units expected in Q4. Overall volumes in 2011 are anticipated to grow 18% year-on-year because of the ongoing popularity of pads. Excluding pads, the market is predicted to grow at less than 1% for the year.
Canalys expects high growth in Latin America and Asia Pacific in Q4, with total volumes for 2011 predicted to reach 40 million and 153 million. Overall, the BRIC countries will account for 28% of worldwide PC shipments in 2011
Apple sold 11 million iPads in the last quarter and this strong performance kept it firmly in second place in the total PC market with a 15% share, behind HP (16%) and ahead of Lenovo (12%), Dell (10%) and Acer (10%).
Total pad shipments were almost three times as many as in the same period a year ago. Notebooks grew 9% and desktops increased 8%, but netbooks declined 28%. China once again outperformed the global average, increasing 27% to account for 18% of worldwide volumes, while sluggish economies in the United States and Western Europe hindered expansion in those regions.