MAKER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP has overtaken Apple as the global personal computer market leader again, a report by analyst outfit Canalys has revealed.
HP managed to steal Apple's crown, knocking it off the PC sales throne and regaining the lead in the first quarter of 2012, selling 40,000 more units than Apple's 15.8 million.
Apple previously made the top spot in the last quarter of 2011 when Canalys counted the California gadget maker's Ipad shipments as PCs for the first time.
Canalys' data showed that the total number of PCs shipped worldwide reached 107 million in the first quarter, with Lenovo gaining the third spot with 50 per cent unit growth. Acer and Dell ranked in fourth and fifth place, respectively, although unlike Lenovo, both posted declining sales.
Tom Evans, research analyst at Canalys said most of the leading PC vendors had done a "reasonable job" of offsetting the declines in their netbook shipments over the past year with increased tablet business.
He added, "Samsung and Lenovo are two that stand out in terms of substantially increasing overall volume, though Asus has performed well too. The challenge is breaking out into the really big volumes to challenge the leaders - Apple and Amazon. So far, only Samsung has shown it can routinely ship more than a million pads a quarter."
Apple declined to comment on the news, and we're still waiting a reaction from HP.
Despite the positive news for HP, Canalys warned that turbulence in the economy means that the consumer market in many countries remains "a cause for concern".
"Quarter two is expected to be soft, with Taiwanese ODMs having reported a decline in shipments in April," it said.
But the research firm did advise that the launch of Windows 8 and a new wave of ultrabooks could help the PC market recover as consumers delay new PC purchases into the fourth quarter.
"By then, thin and light laptops will be approaching mainstream price points, and a new wave of pads, based on Microsoft's new OS, will be hitting the market," Canalys added. µ