Apple still tablet king, regains #1 PC sales spot (counting iPads)

By Rick · 23 replies
Aug 3, 2012
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  1. 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…

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  2. You're conveniently leaving out the most important figure: the percentage of Apple computers in use, which is somewhere around 8%. Pretty dismal.
  3. If anything, Apple's never cared about market share as it does profits. And they are definitely making profits with all that money in the bank. And by the looks of it, they're growing while the other PC makers have remained mostly stagnant.

    I think from an earlier report the only other makers growing were Lenovo and possibly HP.
  4. They don't refer to themselves as "PC"s. They are Macs. This is invalid.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,309   +1,403

    Tablets aren't PC's so I don't even know how this is relevant. If they count tablets they have to count smartphones because they are essentially the same thing only with smaller screens. Further, something with the limited functionality that a tablet has has no place in the PC world. I don't care who has how many apps, less than a fifty on any platform are actually worth owning. The MS surface will be a grey area, but I still wont consider it a PC. Too high of an input latency on the digitizer for it to be really useful.
  6. It didn't make all that cash off macbooks and imacs bud
  7. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    I think it's fair to count iPads in as long as you also count them out. With this I mean, you can't simply ignore what's going on outside of the traditional PC as a potential and eventual convergence of both worlds.

    Tablets are certainly not there yet by any means. IMO smartphones are more useful than tablets are at this very moment. But in the future, who knows. A smartphone powering an otherwise dummy terminal... I think we will continue to see those kind of themes until we actually get there.
  8. Dude, PCs use x86 based processors. If it uses an arm or some other traditional system on a chip infrastructure, its its a different class. If you want to include iPads, you might as well include PS3 consoles with Sony's total.
  9. It's cause they sue every company making tablets for infringement, so of course they are!​
  10. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    I kinda have to disagree with that, at least with my Transformer. With the USB port on the dock, I can almost do anything on it that a non-power user needs to do. I have access to most of the internet, can show flash pages and everything, I can type on it in some degree of comfort (and can add a full USB keyboard if I really need to get down), I can watch HD shows and movies on it. I can attach a mouse, USB drive, external hard drive. Its close.

    Its by no means enough for me, but for an average person it can almost substitute a full fledged PC.

    That being said I disagree with lumping tablets into PCs beause its very clear that it was done at Apple's behest to give them some kind of apparent lead in the computer market to drive their stock price up further. More of Jobs BS manipulation.
  11. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    @Guest, true... where do you draw the line. It could go many ways, the way I see it though, PCs are general purpose computing devices -- and when I say general I mean they can do everything -- tablets are not there yet, but right now they are the closest we've seen in a while.

    @gwailo247, the Transformer + Dock is almost a laptop with a few caveats and a few other advantages, which goes to my point about eventual convergence.
    gwailo247 likes this.
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 4,572   +65

    I think tablets fit the literal meaning of "personal computer" pretty well. However, over the years, its abbreviation "PC" has taken on meaning(s) of its own as people continue to make distinctions (some arbitrary) like they must have an "IBM compatible" BIOS, must be x86, must have a keyboard, must be a desktop, must be capable of running Windows etc... These may not be textbook definitions, but they are criteria I've seen people use because "PC" means different things to different people.

    Personally, I have difficulty lumping together tablets, desktops and laptops in the same category.

    However, my main gripe is: if an iPad is a PC, why is an iPhone not? Afterall, they are nearly identical except for size.

    The second distinction might be the iPhone's inclusion of a voice-capable cellular chip. That sounds reasonable, but can that really define whether or not a device is a PC? For example, if I added a cellular voice chip to my PC -- is it no longer a PC? That sounds absurd.

    The best I can tell, based on all of this, is a "PC" is defined by its intended usage. I'm not bold enough to write up a definition for that though, but it is the reason a PlayStation might not be considered a PC (aside from the argument it is RISC and not CISC-based) but a Netbook is.

    Still though, I'm curious as to what Canalys' precise reasoning is.

    I have to ask -- what happens when Microsoft's Surface Pro arrives? They are going to ship with Intel Core CPUs.

    Also, what happens when technology becomes small enough (and efficient enough) to allow full-fledged, non-SoC systems to be housed in a tablet form factor? Would your definition of a PC evolve or change or would to continue to draw additional distinctions between the two?

    Let us not forget the word "computer" used to be a human occupation -- not a device at all.

    Similarly, it seems to me the term "PC" has continued to evolve and will most likely continue to do so.
  13. Zero21XX

    Zero21XX TS Member

    If you're including the iPad lets go ahead and include the iPhone and iPod Touch while we are at it. Apple has clearly defined products for the PC market and they all include the name Mac. You don't combine things that don't go together it doesn't matter how much you want them to. If we are being "technical" about it every smart phone is a personal computer by definition. Lets not muddy the waters please.
  14. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 813   +371

    The iPad has replaced 5 PC's in my office. Still need a couple "regular PC's" for some specialized work, but in my field of work, they are amazing little devices. They are a "personal computer" in my mind...

    And as a side note: when you actually OWN a company, you will realize PROFITS are more important than MARKET SHARE.
  15. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    I don't mind people expanding the definition of PC to include tablets in and of itself.

    I mind when its done at the behest of Steve Jobs so that he could smugly claim that Apple is the #1 PC sales leader just to drive the stock price up. A small distinction, but relevant in my book.
  16. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I think that lots of people are living in the passed a bit here, as technology moves forward we are going to obviously see more portable devices, I remember when people used to say "I'm just going to go on the PC" and walk over to their computer and sit in front of it, nowadays if someone say "I'm just going to go on the PC" they pick up their laptop and bring their PC to them.

    I think people have forgotten the meaning of "Personal Computer" and the term has not evolved with the times, along with those who use the term to purely describe a Microsoft based computer, admittedly bad advertising over the years from MS, Apple and others like PC world have not helped with the generalisation of the term "PC".

    If someone only owns and uses an iPad or tablet computer then that is their "PC" their own personal computer as that is what it is being used for, most people here are assuming that because a iPad does not have the CPU power to decode a 3 hour long movie that it should not be classed as a personal computer, but the issue here is that most people don't need that amount of computing power to simply surf Facebook, twitter and a few websites and are quite happy playing angry birds for 5 to 10 mins a day.
  17. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    Sorry, the iPad is no PC, its a PMD (Personal Media Device), the iPad was designed to consume not produce, key difference. Something that most people don't see I suppose, therefore I disagree with the idea that a PC is a device that can simply browse Facebook, because at that point any wifi enable device would classify as a PC, which they don't. All I see this being is yet more publicity for Apple, and for that I say for shame Techspot.
  18. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    I agree and disagree at the same time, I think as times moves on I believe that the term will need to be loosened from its generalisation that PC is a Microsoft based computer that sits in the corner of the room with a keyboard and mouse, I think this is backwards thinking and that eventually the PC in the corner of the room will be a thing of the passed or have a very limited audience known as PC gamers.

    Once upon a time I remember not being able to play games on laptops and thinking that it would never happen, look how wrong I was at the time, I'm willing to bet that in more homes now there are more laptops, Netbooks, iPads than actual desktop PC's as we know them, the term is what people make it "PC" not meant to mean what it can do in general, but what it can do for it's selected audience/user base, and for most that is simple, FaceBook/Twitter/youtube/Music/Photographs/Documents/emails, so tell me, what would those users need the full desktop "PC" bloatware power house that can decode videos for?
  19. NoNamesLeft

    NoNamesLeft TS Rookie

    So I am the anonymous poster that said PCs use x86 based processors. I am going to expand on this a bit and give my opinion on what a PC is and why a tablet is not one. A PC has traditionally been something that has used the x86 architecture but it has also used PowerPC architecture.

    What makes modern devices such as the iPad or Android phone or any other modern device not a pc? Its what the manufacture intends for you to do with that device. There are two things with these devices that make them not PCs. First, if they have locked boot loaders, they are not a PC. Locked bootloaders are intended to limit what you can do with the device. You are using the devce on their terms and not yours.

    Second, if it has a closed eco system of software, it is not a PC. If its a closed system, its more like a video game console than a personal computer. A Sony PSP is clearly a handheld console, not a personal computer. If you look at it that way, an iPad/iPhone is clearly a handheld console, just like a game boy. You can do more with it but each piece of software you run on it has to be submitted and approved by the manufacture. All video game consoles are like this. No one thinks of an xbox as a personal computer.

    Finially, are the new Surface tablets by Microsoft PCs? The Windows RT is not a PC. It has a locked bootloader. If the x86 Windows 8 Surface does not have a locked bootloader, its a PC.
  20. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    "FaceBook/Twitter/youtube/Music/Photographs/Documents/emails, so tell me, what would those users need the full desktop "PC" bloatware power house that can decode videos for?" They don't, and hence the tablet was born, I understand the term PC as personal computer, which is very vague, but you can't start mixing product genre together. This brings me back to my point, if a personal computer is simply a device capable of ""FaceBook/Twitter/youtube/Music/Photographs/Documents/emails" then this would precede the invention of the tablet all together, my PSP from 2005 would count as a "PC" because it can do all those task? NoNamesLeft just put a big emphasis on this one, and I agree with him completely. It's part of the classification system thats been used for the last 20 years, and I see no point in changing it so suit Apple's needs. Because even Apple doesn't call their desktop solution a "PC" taken from Apple's web site "Why get a new PC and just upgrade your computer, when you can get a Mac and upgrade your entire computer experience?" Thus concluding that No Apple product should ever be considered a PC. It's simply part of their marketing, and I won't argue with that.
  21. sapo joe

    sapo joe TS Member Posts: 81   +6

    One of the best aspects of a PC is that you can BUILD it yourself, choosing the parts that better suit you.

    And since there are so many PC builders and just one Mac builder, of course they can concentrate the production.

    But like someone sad, it happens that they are only 8% of the market, so this article just started WRONG!
  22. @Adhmuz, you are absolutely correct and I totally agree. All apple does is just marketing but some people think it's real.
  23. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    So many people here are complaining that Apple claims they have #1 PC sales. All these people complaining are offering arguments against why Apple isn't #1. Ok, then, why is this even a problem? All these arguments seem to be about defining a pc, and there are several definitions based on what I've read, very few favor Apple's point of view, so what is the ***** here? Everyone is saying the same thing, everyone is saying Apple can't count the iPad. Ok.

    Maybe Apple markets it so. You all are falling into their system then, IF they are doing this intentionally, it got enough of you fired up enough to complain. That generates traffic. Apple gets free exposure.
  24. Tablets aren't desktop pc's. I would compare them to laptops.

    I own an Acer Iconia W500 Windows 7 Tablet. I would not consider purchasing Apple's offering as it does not fit my needs, is overpriced and has in the past(maybe still) lacked features. It seems like the majority of people who buy Apple are lemmings and buy because their friend or whatever did or on their advice.

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