Apple overtook HP and became the mobile PC market leader in the second quarter of 2011, research firm Display Search said in a report released Thursday.
According to Display Search's report, which includes both notebooks and tablet PCs, Apple shipped 13.6 million mobile PC units, bringing its market share to 21.1 percent. Almost 80 percent of the shipments were iPads, a figure that doesn't surprise Nick Gold, director of business development at Chesapeake Systems, a Baltimore, Md.-based system builder who partners with Apple.
"Try taking a flight at an airport these days, or a train trip between New York and Baltimore, and you'll be surrounded by Apple's iPad. They're everywhere," Gold said.
Tablet PC shipments accounted for much of the growth in the mobile PC industry in Q2 of this year, Display Search said. In Q2, 16.4 million tablet units shipped, representing more than 400 percent growth year-over-year and almost 70 percent growth quarter-over-quarter. Over 65 percent of tablets sold were iPads, Display Search noted in the report.
The strength of Apple's iPad suggests a shifting focus in the consumer market, according to Jon Bach, president of Puget Systems, a Kent, Wash.-based system builder. He thinks users are becoming savvier and demanding more than attractive price points from their devices. "Apple is not price driven -- they focus on the experience even when that costs more," Bach said. "Apple is the king of the hill when it comes to the experience, and clearly that is working out well for them."
HP fell to number two behind Apple in overall mobile PC shipments, with 9.7 million units shipped and 15 percent market share for Q2. HP launched the TouchPad tablet in July, but discontinued the product on Thursday after just six weeks. HP is also discontinuing its Pre3 and Veer smartphones and says it will "explore options" for WebOS, the operating system HP aquired last summer.
While tablets took the mobile PC market by storm in the second quarter, notebook sales declined 2 percent from the first quarter, and Display Search attributed some of the decline to cannibalization from tablet sales. However, Gold pointed out that Apple seems immune to the problem.
"Apple's own laptop numbers continue to increase way beyond the market averages," Gold said." You could argue that they might have been able to grow laptop sales more if they didn't have the iPad. I think they would rather continue to do well in the laptop market and also annihilate the tablet market."
Samsung and Dell had the fastest notebook PC shipment growth in the second quarter, with 44 percent and 33 percent year-over-year growth respectively. The top five companies, in order of total mobile PC shipment rankings, were Apple, HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Of those top five, Acer's shipment growth declined the most, dropping by 12 percent year-over-year.