Canalys has been the only major market research firm that includes tablet shipments in overall PC shipments, which resulted in Apple gaining the top spot in the fourth quarter of last year. But iPad sales in Q1 were not good enough to stay ahead of HP.
According to Canalys, a drop of iPad shipments from 15.8 million to 11.8 million between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 allowed HP to surpass Apple again by approximately 40,000 units. Canalys noted that tablets showed about 200 percent annual growth in Q1, but esktops and notebooks were climbing as well. The only category that lost was the netbook, which was down 34 percent year over year. The total PC client market, including tablets, was 107 million units in Q1 (up 21 percent from Q1 2011), Canalys said.
"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 business," said Canalys 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."
Canalys said that tablets make up about 19 percent of all client PC shipments. Netbooks are down to 5 percent.