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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Apple\'s iPad Dominated PC Market During Holiday Season

The iPad is defined as a tablet, but you might as well call it a personal computer. Over the holiday season, about one in six people buying computers around the world bought Apple’s tablet, according to research from Canalys.

The report, released Wednesday, said that when tablets were included, worldwide PC shipments over the fourth quarter increased 12 percent compared with the previous year. Apple led the computer market with 27 million iPads sold. Hewlett-Packard was in a distant second place with 15 million PCs shipped, and Lenovo shipped about 14.8 million computers.

Amazon and Samsung are quickly gaining traction in the computer market with their tablets. Amazon shipped 4.6 million tablets, including its Kindle Fire, over the quarter, and Samsung shipped 7.6 million. Over all, tablet shipments accounted for about one-third of the PC market over the quarter.

IDC, the research firm, reported similar umbers on PC shipments over the fourth quarter, but did not include tablets in its analysis.

Typically research firms don’t count tablets as a PC, because they are quite different from traditional laptops and desktops. But when sales of these two categories are stacked side by side, the numbers give perspective for how quickly the tablet is dissolving the old-school PC.

IDC’s report certainly makes the late Steve Jobs sound prescient. When he introduced the iPad 2 in 2011, he said tablet devices were ushering people into a “post-PC” era:

A lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs.

And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach! to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

It appears that era has already arrived.