updated 10:40 am EST, Mon November 21, 2011
Tablet usually excluded from PC data
Apple will probably overtake HP as the top PC maker by the second half of 2012, claims research group Canalys. The forecast includes tablets, however, a product category most analysts make a point of separating from PCs. Unlike regular computers, media tablets tend to be extremely limited, dependent on app stores for software and frequently missing front-end filesystems and removable storage.
Canalys analyst Tim Coulling remarks that Apple's traditional PC marketshare has grown from 9 to 15 percent in the space of a year. As for the combined PC/tablet projection, the release of the iPad 3 next year is expected to be a significant boost to Apple's numbers. Coulling cautions that US iPad sales are "likely to come under pressure" this quarter from the launches of the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet.
Whereas the iPad 2 costs at least $499, the Kindle Fire is $199, and the Nook Tablet is $249. Both may lure in more cost-conscious buyers who don't need the raw performance of an iPad. The situation could potentially reverse with the iPad 3, since the tablet may be the first to have a Retina Display-quality resolution.