Apple grabs top spot in mobile PC market from HP

Thanks to the iPad, Apple is once again the top player in the mobile PC market, shipping more than 13.5 million mobile PCs during the second quarter, according to DisplaySearch.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Apple iPad 2 Smart Covers
The Apple iPad 2 with a phalanx of Smart Covers. James Martin/CNET

Fueled by demand for the iPad, Apple shot past Hewlett-Packard to claim the leading share of mobile PC shipments during the second quarter, according to data out today from DisplaySearch.

For the quarter, Apple shipped 13.6 million mobile PCs. That figure marked a leap of 136 percent from the year-ago quarter and gave the company more than 21 percent of the market, according to preliminary results from DisplaySearch's "Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report."

How did Apple reach the top spot? In addition to laptops and Netbooks, DisplaySearch includes tablets in its definition of a mobile PC. Though some many disagree with that definition, it means the iPad alone gave Apple the lead, accounting for 80 percent of the company's mobile PC shipments. Apple shipped more than 10.7 million iPads, a gain of 107 percent from a year earlier.

In contrast, HP shipped 9.7 million mobile PCs, giving it a 15 percent share of the market.


Apple had initially captured the top mobile PC perch from HP during last year's fourth quarter, as noted in a DisplaySearch report released in February. That marked a big change from the third quarter when Apple was in third place behind HP and Acer.

In the first quarter, HP briefly took back the lead with 8.62 million mobile PC shipments, compared with 7.95 million for Apple, according to a spokesman for DisplaySearch.

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Tablets also fueled overall growth for the mobile PC category, according to DisplaySearch. For the quarter, tablet vendors shipped almost 16.4 million units, a surge of more than 400 percent over the prior year. Even discounting Apple, shipments of non-iPad tablets reached 5.6 million units for a growth rate of 25 percent.

In contrast, notebook makers eked out just 48 million units, an increase of only 2 percent from the prior year's quarter. Weakening consumer demand for notebooks continues to stall the sector following a 2 percent drop in shipments during the first quarter, the report noted.

Total mobile PC shipments around the world hit 64.4 million in the second quarter, a gain of 28 percent from a year ago.

Looking beyond Apple and HP, Samsung and Dell experienced the biggest jumps in shipments, rising 44 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Dell's shipment growth was boosted by a recovery in PCs for the business market, said DisplaySearch. Among the top five mobile PC shippers, Acer saw the biggest drop in shipment growth, falling 12 percent from the prior year.

Updated 9:45 a.m. PT with first-quarter shipment data.