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Its official: Apple are the new PC kings, beating leader HP. 

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iPad palces Apple as top Pc maker according to Canalys.

And its all thanks to a liitle tab device known as the iPad, which Apple shipped over 15 million of in Q4 along with 5m Macs.

This stellar figures shoots Apple to the top spot for PCs globally, accounting for a whopping 17% of the total 120 m computers shipped in Q4 last, placing it ahead of nearest rival, Hewlett Packard, according to new figures from Canalys.

Indeed, rivals HP will struggle to compete with Apple following the end of its TouchPad; its failed tablet which it ceased sale of last year, following a rapid decision to ditch in-house WebOS platform.

Among the other top 5 PC vendors, Chinese brand Lenovo was the only one (outside of Apple) to increase its market share, although this was only by a “modest” two points, compared to the same quarter 2010, Canalys said today.

Apple’s trebled Lenovos’s growth with a six-point gain.

Lenovo’s decision to use the Android OS for tabs gives it a better opportunity than HP to continue gaining market share, say analysts.

No. 4 Dell and Acer ( No.5) too all lost market share over Q4.  Acer’s decline was down to tabs continuing to make headway into the brand’s one time stronghold notebook market.

However, Acer could be on the up following its Ultrabook S5 debut at CES earlier this month, the ultra thin and lightening fast category which the analysts predict will increase in 2012.

Canalys count desktops, netbooks, notebooks, as well as tabs in their analysis, which grew 16% overall year-on-year althoguh excluding tabs, the PC market declined 0.4%.

Other analysts analysts IDC placed HP at the top spot in December followed by Apple at No. 2 although they counted just traditional PC, laptops and excluded tablets, which Apple are selling buckets of at expense even of the Mac.

Tabs or ‘pads’ accounted for 22% of total PC shipments and in addition to the iPad’s strong performance in the US, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is now the No. 2 tab there, while Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet holds the No.5 spot.

However, Canalys analyst, Tim Coulling, warned that uncertainties remain over Windows OS, which No.2 vendor HP are running on its new tabs including Slate 2 this year, although did admit the fledgling W8 version was promising.

“Questions remain over Microsoft’s entry into the consumer pad space. While early demonstrations of the Window 8 operating system seem promising, Microsoft must focus its efforts on creating an intuitive user experience that is far less resource intensive.”

 

“We expect Ultrabook volumes to see limited adoption through the first half of 2012, before finally gaining momentum later in the year as price points decline and Intel launches a new line of processors and embarks on an aggressive marketing campaign,” added Canalys Research Analyst Michael Kauh.

However, “in the short term though, vendors will experience more pressure in the netbook and notebook segments, especially with Apple’s annual iPad refresh approaching.”

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