Hewlett-Packard regained the top spot in personal computers — including tablets — in Q1, but that’s only because Apple’s iPad sales dipped slightly ahead of the release of the new iPad.Research firm Canalys, which is one of the few firms to count tablets in the same bucket as traditional PCs, says that HP beat Apple by about 40,000 shipments. Both companies came in around 15.8 million units.
Apple passed HP for the first time in the last quarter of 2011, mainly because it sold more than 15 million iPads during that quarter. In Q1 of 2012, iPad sales came in short of analysts’ expectations at 11.8 million, probably because a lot of consumers were waiting for the next-generation iPad to come out.
Overall, tablet computers made up 19% of the personal computing market. Very few of those computers run Windows — a situation Microsoft hopes to fix this year with a new version of Windows optimised for touch screens.
Despite all the talk of the post-PC era, shipments of traditional notebook computers were up 11%, and even shipments of the lowly desktop PC increased 8%. The only area that collapsed was netbooks, which fell 34%, replaced mostly by tablets.