In a press release published by Canalys
, HP reclaimed the top spot in PC sales from Apple in Q1 2012. Apple displaced the PC market leader in Q4 2011, thanks to record iPad shipments (upwards of 15 million units). These shipments shrunk to 11.8 million in Q1, bring Apple's total PC sales to 15.8 million. HP's shipments edged out Apple by a mere 40,000 units, just enough to retake the number one spot.
Lenovo took third place, growing 50 percent year-on-year, while Acer and Dell took the remaining top-five places, but with shipments down from the same quarter a year ago. The PC market grew 21 percent to 107 million units overall. While tablets exhibited the largest year-on-year growth (over 200 percent), notebook and desktop computer shipments also grew (11 and 8 percent, respectively). Netbook shipments, however, declined 34 percent, the sixth straight quarterly decline.
"Most of the leading PC vendors have done a reasonable job of offsetting the declines in their netbook shipments over the past year with increased pad [tablet] business," said Canalys Research Analyst Tom Evans. "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."
Worldwide, Canalys is reporting that tablets made up 19 percent of all PC shipments in Q1, up considerably from 7 percent just one year ago, but down from the 22 percent reported in Q4 2011. Netbooks have declined from a high of 13 percent of all PC shipments two years ago to 5 percent in Q1. Notebooks represented just under 50 percent of the overall PC market. When focus is narrowed to regional shipment data, Canalys estimates that North America grew 31 percent year-on-year, compared to 19 percent for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific and only 10 percent for Latin America.
"If you look at the US, pads are approaching 40 percent of all client PC shipments," said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst, Chris Jones. "The rest of the market here was down slightly in Q1. The pad proposition for US consumers is very strong – thanks to the wider choice in content and apps – and the impact on the other categories is more severe."
The report goes on to state that the future may not be all good news. Despite signs of growth in Q1, PC vendors "face ongoing uncertainty in the coming quarters," with Windows 8 and the economic recovery being key factors in continued growth of the PC market.