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back to article iPads propel Apple to PC market top slot

Apple is now the world's leading personal computer seller, having pushed past HP in Q4 2011, market watcher Canalys said today. Apple shipped 15m iPads and 5m Macs - 20m units that together amount to 17 per cent of the 120m PCs that shipped around the globe during the final three months of 2011. Take the iPads out of the …

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Stop

"Client computer market would have shrunk without tablets"

So....people bought iPads (and other tablets) *instead* of a laptop or desktop. That's what you're trying to say, no?

In other news, moon not made of cheese.

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Exactly what I thought, saying the market would have shrunk without tablets is like saying "You wouldn't have got cancer if you didn't smoke"! The PC market may well have grown without the new form factor (i.e. if Tablets didn't exist).

Given the cost of Tablets, PC's etc and the current economic climate I'm not at all surprised that people are buying one or the other - no bugger can afford both!

Interesting stats though, I've been toying with the idea of a tablet

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g e
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WTF?

WTF?

So tablets are PC's now??? That's crazy.

Yeah it's a Personal Computer in the same sense my damned phone is (though my phone also makes & receives calls, making an iFad less functional), but would you seriously use a tablet to do the stuff you do on a PC?

Yes, compose email. Yes surf the web.

No, non-linear video editing. No, graphics retouching/editing.

Yes I'm sure you CAN edit audio and video on a tablet but you know what I mean. PROPERLY. Even the most awkward and bloody-minded of you lot know what I'm getting at.

If you're including tablets then you must include phones as they have the same functionality in a smaller form factor or does a 'PC' have to have a minimum screen size of, say, an Apple tablet device and no phone ability (until Apple put it in then it MUST have it, presumably) to qualify?

I smell fudge and not in a good way.

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When your Prime has more cores, at higher clocks, faster video and running similar resolution to a soon-to-be-obsolete desktop, then yes...I don't see why it can't be included.

No video editing? No graphics retouching? These are your criteria of a PC? Isn't that a wee bit...specific?

And the definition of a "Personal Computer"...chances are the tablet is ironically more personal, as its usually only used by you...a desktop is often shared - both in personal and business Environments.

Don't get me wrong - I do agree with you - something doesn't seem quite right to include tablets in the PC bracket, but I won't argue against anyone who wants to.

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WTF?

Are you sure?

I mean netbooks don't do that either and they're still PC's, in fact there's loads of PC's on the shelves that are never going to do high end video editing or run photoshop, perhaps you should have another go at defining a PC.

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Besides the issues already raised in response, iMovie* does edit video 'PROPERLY', or at least up to the same standard as any other consumer video editor. You see all the video clips on your device, select portions of them and arrange them on a timeline, applying transitions if you like. See e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEaWuCrI24s . I'm sure you can grasp for a distinction from standard consumer desktop stuff but it'll be a post hoc effort.

Similar tools are available for audio and graphics retouching, similarly consumer focussed.

* and, yes, there's probably an Android equivalent though I lack the expertise properly to comment. Let's stick to the capability of tablets in general as the topic, shall we?

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Why is the distinction so hard.

True tablets are technically computers (and PCs in the non-IBM clone usage). But so are games consoles. Have we started including those as PCs too? Certainly we didn't count them as computers when I was a kid: Speccy, C64, ST etc. were clearly computers, Atari 2600, SNES and Megadrive were clearly consoles. Tablets as a 3rd category doesn't really seem any harder unless we're dealing with a rare example of an actual Tablet-PC complete with keyboard and fancy rotating screen hinge.

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Tablets are more personal than PCs

and for the majority of people a tablet and connected TV is all they need .. in fact I see a tablet or large smartphone per person and shared TV screens (as output devices for tablet controllers rather than interactive TV) as being the norm for personal 'computing' requirements.

Desktop/Tower PCs are for niche (power) users, laptops/air/lights are for business and some home users and tablets/smartphones for everyone else.

Most people just have no requirement for anything other than media browsing/consumption ... giving them complex OSes on super-fast hardware is just pointless; with the right software, less hardware) is more.

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By that logic, then new game consoles, cable set-top boxes, TV's... probably even refrigerators could be considered PC's, but they aren't. An iPad is a feature device (toy?) and is no replacement for a PC.

I am concerned about our current youth and their generation. If they're spending more time on a tablet than a proper computer, how is there any chance that they'll learn to type fast and accurately?

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Anonymous Coward

"rare example of an actual Tablet-PC complete with keyboard and fancy rotating screen hinge."

So what's the difference between a tablet pc running windows 7 tablet edition, and a asus transformer running android?

Some of the older tablet pc's have less ram, less disk and less cpu than the asus transformer!

Why does the screen have to rotate?

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re: transformer

ok, fair point. replace "rotating screen hinge" with "fancy screen attachment allowing tablet or laptop style uses". There's a handful of hybrid machines which blur boundaries (as there was with computer vs console distinction - e.g Amstrad's Megadrive/PC hybrid), but most machines fit into categories quite well. The main point was that including tablets as PCs makes no more sense than including consoles, and that for most machines the category is pretty clear - indeed as I pointed out above simple enough for a child to understand, its only pendantic adult arguments and edge cases that make it complicated.

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WTF?

Add some bitter pills to sweeten the market up?

I agree a tablet computer [of any brand] is a computing device, but I don't quite see them as "personal computers"

Do these unnamed analysts marry the 15M iPad sales to the 5M Mac sales to big up Apple or belittle HP?

I would like to know how many PCs HP sold as well as how many tablets they sold too. We know the HP tablet was short lived, but there were certainly enough of them sold last year, especially after HP's "fire sale" of these devices to their staff members

At the end of the day, the statistics don't show the true market trend. It's a bit of a true lie...

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LDS
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Happy

"Do these unnamed analysts marry the 15M iPad sales to the 5M Mac sales to big up Apple or belittle HP?"

You've got it right.

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FAIL

All a conspiracy

Like the tablets or not HP dreams they had Apples profit margin. 15 mil iPADS is money in the bank no matter how you classify it.

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Megaphone

also

And unlike HP Apple was able to actually sell many more of their tablets for a profit (as a touchpad owner I do like webos and the tablet but I only bought it for Android and because it was cheap).

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Nuts

An iPad is to PCs what a DVD player is to a Video Editing Suite.

You might as well include Internet enabled Set-boxes, TVs and BD players as call an iPad a PC.

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Yet

People seem to be buying them instead of a PC. Maybe most people don't need the extra grunt, and just need a computing device that is, well, personal.

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g e
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Cos most people

Just need Facebook, Email, IM & YouTube, not PC's, as they don't actually DO anything

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@ g e

yeah, but Joe Punter wasn't doing anything before either...he was still using Facebook, email, IM & youtube when he had a PC.

Except now with a tablet it doesn't take 2-3 minutes to boot up, and you don't need to be sitting at the desk in the spare room to use it. It's also comfier than sitting with a laptop on your knee in the living room.

Face it; PC's and tablets have more power than the average user needs 95% of the time. It just so happens that a tablet is a more practical form for lounging on the Sofa with.

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LDS
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Why don't sum up server sales as well?

When your web or "cloud" applications run on a remote server they become "personal" computer as much as pads. So why don't add them to sales as well? :D

It's funny how many are running to worship Apple...

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Anonymous Coward

Most people ...

Most people I know only use their home PCs for email, viewing photos and very simple word/number documents. iPads would suit them better.

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Anonymous Coward

How many of those iFondleslabs were actually first computers for the buyers? Novel as these devices are they fall short of doing any serious computing and game playing.

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Fiar point ...

... but how many people actually do serious computing and/or game playing? Not most, and given how many PCs are purchased annually by businesses, there won't be many doing a lot of serious computing or game-playing on those.

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Anonymous Coward

Really? I think the ipad plays angry birds better!

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WTF?

So, why don't they count iPod touches as PCs also?

Cos those are just iPads with a smaller form-factor.

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Mushroom

WAT!?

If you can't install a compiler then it's not a personal computer. Well, that is where I draw the line.

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You can't install a compiler on some PCs..

It depends on how 'locked down' the OS is .. some work PCs are deliberately restricted because having a general purpose computing device just is not required for most users and a security risk. Tablets/phones users have very little need for traditional compilers but I can see a use for the creation of 'macro' style interactions to perform common complex actions .. these might appear in time.

I've compiled C code on mobile devices before (e.g. Sharp Zaurus) and I've written BASIC programs on Tandy/Sharp 8-bit PCs such as the Model 100 and Pocket PCs .. You've got a Java VM on Android and you can run gcc as well.

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Happy

@ the doc

I prefer "Can it run crysis 2 at 60fps+?" as my benchmark for what constitutes a PC.

This disadvantage of this approach is that it does eliminate 99% of *all* computational devices from the category...

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Van

I remember the era when we had 'Home Computers' that had custom graphics and sound, integrated Midi, audio ouputs etc. Consoles, that were basically Home computers with no keyboard and a simple OS. Then there were PCs with no custom graphics and bleep bleep sound.

I think the ipad has more DNA from a console.

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Dubious...

Some dubious categorisation going on here. An iPad isn't really a PC in the same way that a G-Wizz isn't really a car!

Sure it can do many of the things a PC can do, play videos, go onto facebook, and maybe it fits the words "personal computer" better than a real desktop does, but it's still a device primarily designed for data consumption, not production. Sure, you *could* type your entire life story on an iPad, and I'm sure Mr Fry is doing just that as I type, but you'll end up with blunted fingers and probably some kind of compression fracture in all of your fingers from banging on that sheet of glass.

It's horses for courses. Most people don't really need a real desktop PC for what they do. I know my sister-in-law certainly doesn't. She can post up her inane facebook drivel (with humourous auto corrections) just as well from her phone than she can from a desktop of laptop machine.

It just goes to show that many desktop/laptop users didn't really need that full computer experience, so with any luck we'll shift them onto tablet, and the volume of spam email their infected desktop machines were spewing to all and sundry will plummet!

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