Canalys today announced strong PC industry growth of 19% in Q4 2010, with Apple climbing to third place in the market, thanks to
impressive iPad and Mac sales, as well as fast growth in Asia
The analyst company attributes the majority of Q4 market growth to
the rising demand for pads, a new product category.
"Pads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday
season," said Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling. "While they do not appeal
to first-time buyers or low-income households, they are proving
extremely popular as additional computing devices."
Canalys urges vendors to accept new market realities, by recognizing
pads as an integral new component of the overall PC landscape. Unlike
other analyst companies, Canalys incorporates pad shipments, such as
the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Apple?s iPad, in its total PC market
"Pads gave the market momentum in 2010, just as netbooks did the year
before," said Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam. "We are encouraging
vendors to plan for the future and not to remain stuck in the past."
"Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,?" said
Chiam. "With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing
power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing
experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same
customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users
will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without."
"Each new product category typically causes a significant shift in
market shares," said Chiam. "Apple is benefiting from pads, just as
Acer, Samsung and Asus previously did with netbooks. The PC industry
has always evolved this way, starting when Toshiba and Compaq rode
high on the original notebook wave."
At a regional level, Asia, especially China and India, continued to
outperform most of the other global markets, to the benefit of Lenovo
and Dell, according to Canalys. In the United States, sales recovered
somewhat, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa remained an
ongoing concern due to substantial consumer inventory build-up.
Moving forward, inventory issues will be exacerbated by rising VAT
levels across five countries - Poland, Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland
and the UK - as well as the urgency created by the upcoming Intel
refresh. As a result, Canalys predicts significant retail discounting
in this region during the first quarter.
Other bright spots for the PC industry included accelerating
corporate refresh programmes, as Windows 7 became an accepted
operating system. This trend favoured vendors with a solid presence
in B2B, notably HP, Dell and Lenovo. Canalys also noted strong demand
for servers and storage, driven by substantial investment in data