iPad Helps Apple Surpass HP For Mobile PCs Shipped in 4Q

The popularity of Apple's iPad helped that company surpass Hewlett-Packard as the No. 1 shipper of mobile PCs in the fourth quarter on a worldwide basis, according to new research from DisplaySearch.

The research firm found that Apple had a 17.2 percent market share of mobile PCs shipped in the fourth quarter, shipping 10.2 million notebook and tablet PCs combined. HP shipped 9.3 million units for a 15.6 percent share, according to DisplaySearch.

Acer Group finished third, shipping 8.4 million units for a 14 percent share, while Dell was fourth with 5.9 million units shipped (9.9 percent share) and Toshiba rounded out the top five with 5.1 million units shipped (8.6 percent share).

While Apple's success in the fourth quarter was due in large part to the iPad, Apple's notebook shipments also continued to exceed the industry average, according to Richard Shim, Senior Analyst at DisplaySearch.

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’While we anticipate increased competition in the tablet PC market later this year with the introduction of Android Honeycomb-based tablets, Apple’s iPad business is complementing [its] notebook line,’ Shim said in a statement. ’Apple is currently benefiting from significant and comprehensive growth from both sectors of the mobile PC spectrum, notebooks and tablet PCs. Cannibalization seems limited at this point.’

Overall, worldwide shipments of mobile PCs, including notebooks and tablets, reached 59.6 million in the fourth quarter, up 8 percent from third quarter and 17 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to Display Search.

Excluding tablets, notebook PCs were up 4 percent compared to the third quarter and 1 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, the firm said.