Is Apple the world’s top PC maker? Sure, if you classify the iPad as a PC

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Shortly after research firm IDC reported a decline in PC sales last holiday season for the first time in  five years, Gartner, a competing research firm, released a study indicating a 5 percent increase in Mac shipments despite slow overall sales. While those two reports understandably don’t take iPad sales into consideration, a new one by Canalys (yet another research firm) does, and in it, Apple topped every other PC maker for the fourth quarter of 2012. 

In the research firm’s report, the newest generation of tablets are called “pads,” perhaps to distinguish it from tablets of old. One in every six PCs sold in Q4 2012 was an iPad, the report says, putting Apple way ahead of HP, which IDC and Gartner listed as the top PC maker for 2012. That means Apple sold 27 million PCs in Q4 last year and took around 20 percent of market shares. HP shipped 15 million PCs and Lenovo shipped 200,000 fewer than that, with both companies taking roughly 11 percent share each. Since Canalys defines an iPad as a PC, it’s only fair to call other touchscreen devices, which aren’t phones, as PCs too. As such, Samsung was also part of the firm’s top five list of PC makers due to the company’s strong tablet shipments (11.7 million), taking 9 percent of the market. 

We all know iPads sell like hotcakes, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Apple will take the top spot in Canalys’ list. The question is: Do you agree with Canalys that iPads and other tablets should be classified as PCs? 

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