Despite a rocky quarter for iPads, Apple stayed on top of the global market for PCs, according to market researcher Canalys, which includes tablets in PC shipments.
The dive in iPad shipments in the first quarter was the "sharpest ever" -- as Apple sold off iPad inventory -- but the company will maintain its lead in the tablet market "for some time," Canalys said Thursday, attributing Apple's staying power to a robust ecosystem and apps like Office for iPad.
Apple had a combined total of about 20 million iPads and Macs in the first quarter.
We do not believe Apple's Q1 performance points to a decline in the tablet category, despite growing pressure from larger-screen smart phones. Consumers, and increasingly businesses, are continuing to adapt, with tablets acting as disruptors and finding their place as desktop and notebook replacements.
The US market was adversely affected by a drop in Apple iPad shipments, which fell 40%. This was offset somewhat by 20% growth in China, Apple's second largest market. Worldwide, iPad shipments in Q1 fell 16% year on year to 16.4 million and accounted for 80% of Apple's total PC shipments.
Lenovo was No. 2 and increased its share of combined tablet and traditional PC shipments (laptops and desktops) to 12 percent from 10 percent in the year earlier period. It is now placed first, second, and third in the notebook, desktop, and tablet markets respectively, according to Canalys.
"Lenovo was quick to move with new form factors and its Yoga line now dominates the global convertible notebook market," Canalys said.
Hewlett-Packard, which was No. 3 in combined shipments, is still struggling with tablets.
"With fewer than 400,000 tablets shipped in the quarter, HP still has much work to do...But it is now delivering on a tablet strategy that emphasizes strong differentiation based on connectivity," Canalys said, referring to HP's penchant to offer built-in 3G/4G in its tablets.
For the overall market, growth in tablet shipments slowed to 21 percent but tablets still accounted for 41 percent of the market versus 38 percent for laptops.