SMARTPHONE, TABLET AND MACBOOK MAKER Apple has taken the lead from HP in the mobile PC market, a lead that it is set to keep now that HP has announced plans to bow out of the PC arena.
Apple shipped close to 13.6 million mobile PC units, which includes tablets and laptops, in the second quarter of 2011, giving it a whopping 136 per cent year on year growth. It is not surprising then that it had little problem overtaking HP, the previous market leader, for the top spot in the mobile PC industry.
What is surprising, however, is HP's decision yesterday to exit the PC business altogether, which will guarantee that it will not retake the mobile PC crown from Apple in the near future.
HP dominates the PC industry, but it has been struggling in the mobile PC sector due to the sudden rise of tablets. HP bought WebOS along with Palm and released the Touchpad close to two months ago, but that never took off like HP hoped, so it decided to axe it altogether to focus on other areas.
For the second quarter Apple had a market share of 21.1 per cent, a healthy lead over HP's 15 per cent. HP shipped 9.7 million mobile PC units, the majority of them laptops, which is still a strong figure in a market that's becoming increasingly focused on tablet PCs.
Overall tablet shipments were up 70 per cent over the previous quarter and a mind-boggling 400 per cent from the previous year. Laptop shipments, on the other hand, were down two per cent from the first quarter, but up two per cent over the same period last year. Despite the huge growth for tablets, their shipments were still much smaller than those of laptops, at 16.4 million compared to 48 million. The laptop market is obviously more mature, however, and mature markets simply do not grow at the same rate as new ones.
Apple's lead over HP is likely to continue in the third quarter and possibly into the fourth as well, but it all depends on who HP sells its PC business to. If it sells to Dell, the third on the list, then Dell could potentially overtake Apple, thanks to its 11.6 per cent market share, which, when combined with HP's market share would make 26.6 per cent.
However, these figures could slump for both HP and Dell, while Apple's are likely to increase as it launches its Ipad 3, which should help it keep its lead in the mobile PC market. µ
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