According to the latest figures from IDC bean counters, Apple is holding tightly to its top spot when it comes to tablets. iPads accounted for nearly two-thirds of global tablet sales during Q2 2012 after Apple shipped over 17 million units. For reference, the total number of worldwide tablet shipments reached the 27 million mark during Q2.
In terms of Apple's competition, Samsung and Amazon headed the pack by shipping just 2.39 and 1.25 million slates. However, those paltry figures pale in comparison to Apple's 17 million-strong market dominance. When it comes to shipments during Q2, Apple's line of iPads best its two closest competitors by more than 3 times -- and that's after you combine their total shipments.
Of course, it's not just tablets Apple has been gaining ground in. The company has continued to encroach on personal computer sales as well, especially since 2006 when Apple made the switch from its own PPC CPUs to Intel's offerings.
Last year actually marked the first time Apple was labeled as the #1 PC manufacturer in the world -- a controversial claim because of Canalys' inclusion of tablets as PCs, or more clearly, "personal computers". Apple had since slipped from that top spot. According to data from Canalys though, it appears that Apple is back on top once again. So, if you count iPads as PCs, Apple is the top volume manufacturer of personal computers.
But, even if you dismiss the 17 million iPads Apple sent out last quarter, that still leaves the Cupertino company with about 6 million in "real" computer shipments. While that's not enough to earn Apple the top spot in PC sales, it improves upon numbers from last year. It also continues Apple's seemingly unflappable trend of growth as it creeps up on the likes of Dell and Acer.
While Canalys' belief that tablets are PCs may seem dubious, admittedly tablet sales are substantial and most likely cannibalize potential computer sales. Major PC manufacturers simply don't have competitive products -- or even tablets at all -- in some cases.
Although many major PC manufacturers lack such tablets, Surface may be aiming to change that. Microsoft hopes to make Windows-based tablets a hot property for consumers. Unfortunately, Canalys also expects Microsoft's pricey Windows 8 license fee to hurt adoption in a significant way.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The Acer Iconia Tab A500 carries a 1280x800 display with 80-degree viewing angles and the ability to register input from all 10 fingers. You'll also find 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (a 32GB model is in the works), a microSD card reader that can handle up to 32GB cards, a 5MP rear camera with flash and auto-focus and a 2MP front cam. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-out, USB and GPS.
Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, 32GB of internal storage, 1GB of DDR2 system memory, front and rear cameras, 8.02.11 b/g/n/ Wi-Fi connectivity and a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass.
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