Apple is top North American mobile PC maker -- when iPad is classified a PC
Apple is the top mobile computer manufacturer in North America, and the third-largest worldwide, when its iPad tablet is classified as a mobile PC in the same class as a laptop or a netbook, a research firm said.
Apple has sold more than 7 million iPads this year. High iPad shipments helped boost the Cupertino, Calif., company to a 12.4% share of global mobile PC shipments as of the end of the third quarter of 2010, according to DisplaySearch.
“A lack of competitive tablet PC products from other brands continues to drive Apple’s market share in the mobile PC segment," said Chris Connery, DisplaySearch's vice president of large-format displays.
When the iPad is not classified as a mobile PC -- and instead thought of a mobile gadget in the same league as a smart phone, or even in a tablet-only category of its own -- Apple’s share of the market falls to 4.8%, which would drop it down to the eighth spot worldwide, according to DisplaySearch.
During the third quarter, Hewlett-Packard remained the global leader in mobile PCs, with 9.5 million laptops, netbooks and tablets shipped, giving it a 17.3% market share, DisplaySearch said.
Acer came in second place globally, with 9.1 million units shipped and a 16.5% market share.
The top five brands make up 65.2% of the total mobile PC market, indicating the growing strength of brand-name computers, DisplaySearch said.
Apple's iPad does face some challenges that other tablet PCs might be able to capitalize on in the future.
"As the iPad continues its worldwide rollout, one developed region where the acceptance of the iPad has been weak is Japan," Connery said. "Questions of local language content and language-specific apps have slowed acceptance in this tech-savvy region.
"As other players come to market with tablet PCs, it will be interesting to see if they can move beyond the Western-centric nature of Apple’s product and develop an infrastructure to support local needs, especially with the growth of consumer spending in China on personal computing devices.”
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles