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.