Apple Sits Atop Mobile PC Shipments (If You Include Tablets)

Should tablets be including when tallying the number of mobile PC shipments? If the answer is yes, then Apple is dominating the competition with nearly three times the number of mobile PC shipments than its nearest competitor, according to data provided by DisplaySearch. According to DisplaySearch, Apple shipped close to 23.4 million mobile PCs in the fourth quarter of 2011, representative of a 128 percent year-over-year increase, and over 62.8 million mobile PCs in all of 2011, a 132 percent year-over-year jump.

Those figures include tablet PCs, an area Apple dominates with its iPad devices. Apple's share of the mobile PC market sits at 26.6 percent when including tablets, well ahead of Hewlett-Packard, which sits in second place with 8.7 million units shipped in Q4 for a 9.9 percent share of the market. Rounding out the top five are Dell (6.9 million units shipped in Q4, 7.9 percent share), Acer (6.8 million units, 7.7 percent share), and Lenovo (6.3 million units, 7.2 percent share).

"Mobile PC brands read the writing on the wall in the fourth quarter," said Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch Senior Analyst. "Consumer demand for notebooks was expected to be weak following modest back-to-school results, especially with the expected launch of Windows 8 on the horizon, and increasing interest in tablet PCs. As a result, brands focused their typical holiday price cuts on tablets to boost demand."

If you take tablet PCs out of the equation, Apple falls to last place among the Top 5, which breaks down like this:
  1. HP: 8.7 million units shipped, 15.5 percent share
  2. Dell: 6.7 million units shipped, 11.8 percent share
  3. Acer: 6.6 million units shipped, 11.8 percent share
  4. Lenovo: 6.1 million units shipped, 10.8 percent share
  5. Apple: 4.6 million units shipped, 8.3 percent share

Switch gears to only focus on tablets, and Apple shoots back up to the top spot with a 59.1 percent share of the market, ahead of Amazon (16.7 percent share), Samsung (6.7 percent share), Asus (4.6 percent share), and Barnes & Noble (3.5 percent share).

Do you think tablets should be included when looking at the mobile PC market? What about smartphones?