Report Shows Traditional And Tablet PC Shipments Up Just 5 Percent; Windows XP Migration Boosts Sales

Market research firms have a tendency to separate traditional PC sales (desktops, laptops, and ultrathins) from tablets, but Canalys clumps them together, thereby giving us another angle to analyze the landscape. So, according to Canalys, the two categories combined to reach 123.7 million unit shipments worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, up only 5 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago.

A major factor that resulted in the nominal jump is that growth in the tablet sector slowed to 21 percent. We've seen other reports suggesting that tablet demand is cooling off, as consumers are finding themselves content with their current slates and aren't seeing enough reason to upgrade. This even applies to Apple and its rabid fan base -- iPad shipments in the U.S. fell a whopping 40 percent in the first quarter, while worldwide shipments dropped 16 percent year-on-year.

Nevertheless, tablets still account for 41 percent of the overall PC market, enough to stay ahead of notebooks, which account for 38 percent. Notebook and desktop shipments are down, though both categories are being helped by Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP and the ensuing migration, which is expected to continue throughout the year.

Lenovo Yoga 13

Lenovo continues to be a shining star; the OEM bumped its market share from 10 percent to 12 percent in the quarter with 15 million units shipped.

"Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market," said Canalys Analyst James Wang. "In addition, it has diversified its tablet portfolio and has product SKUs in all key market segments. Unlike Apple, with its ‘one size fits all’ tablet strategy, Lenovo and others are free to tailor tablets to specific market segments. The tablet form factor is well liked by both young and old consumers; product customization can be beneficial in both cases."

When combining traditional and tablet PCs, Apple is the world's largest vendor, followed by Lenovo in second place, HP in third, Samsung in fourth, and Dell in fifth.