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According to new data from the Canalys research group (http://www.canalys.com), global client computer shipments rose 12% year-over-year in Q2 2012. And, by the research group's estimates, Apple is first place.
Growth in pads more than compensated for disappointing sales of ultrabooks, Canalys reports. The new iPad had the biggest single impact on growth rates in the quarter, but Asus and Samsung made progress with their Transformer and Galaxy Tab product lines. Total pad shipments increased 75% to 24 million units, representing 22% of all computers. (Unlike the IDG and Gartner research groups, Canalys counts tablets among overall computer totals.)
"Reports that poor economic conditions and the wait for Windows 8 hurt the PC industry this quarter do not tell the whole story," says Tom Evans, Canalys research analyst. "The PC industry is performing well and 2012 is shaping up to be a record year. Vendors with innovative products will reap the rewards."
Apple retook the overall lead with an estimated 19% share of global computer shipments, helped by strong iPad sales.
"There is now a large base of replacement buyers that simply must have the latest Apple product, and the decision to continue shipping the iPad 2 at lower price points has opened up new customers, for example in education," Evans says. "One drawback of the stand-out retina display in the new iPad, however, is the increased storage demanded by HD content. An upgrade, without a big price increase, is a must for the next generation of product."
In contrast to pads, Windows PC shipments continued to disappoint., according to Canalys. Ultrabooks haven't hit the price points that could excite large numbers of buyers and the share of the overall market taken by Windows fell to a new low of 73%. Intel’s share also hit an all-time low, falling below 70%.
However, Canalys says that, against this dark background there were some bright points. Lenovo continued to gain share, thanks to a strong home market, a focus on emerging markets and increased attention to the consumer category overall. Acer improved too, compared to a terrible Q2 a year ago.
While results in its former strongholds of Italy and Spain remained poor, it made good progress in the more buoyant markets of Russia, Germany and the UK. Furthermore, improved brand awareness through its Olympics sponsorship should translate into increased sales in the second half of the year.
HP was the second largest computer vendor in Q2 with 12% share. The sensible cost-saving decision to merge its PC and printing divisions impacted its first half, but a Canalys survey of channel partners revealed that a large majority think this will have a positive (or neutral) effect on their future business. After spending time focusing on internal issues, and with the new PPS organization largely in place, a period of stability will enable HP to rebuild momentum.