HP Regains No. 1 Spot Among World's PC Shippers

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-05-02 Print this article Print

According to research firm Canalys, HP passed Apple's PC shipments by about 40,000 units in Q1 2012 with about 15.84 million shipped. Apple's numbers include iPad shipments as part of its PC count; HP does not market a tablet at this time.

Hewlett-Packard received some welcome news May 2 when a global research firm declared it the world's current No. 1 PC supplier, surpassing Apple.

According to research firm Canalys, HP passed Apple's PC shipments by about 40,000 units in the first quarter of 2012, with about 15.84 million shipped. Apple's numbers include iPad shipments as part of its PC count.

HP does not market a tablet PC at this time, although it did sell its TouchPad model for several months in 2011 and is planning to market a new version later this year.

Apple had been No. 1 for one quarter, having built its previous lead on its holiday-season fourth-quarter 2011 iPad shipments of 15 million units. However, in the first quarter of 2012, Apple's iPad shipments fell to 11.8 million, which brought its PC total to 15.8 million. At the same time, HP's PC shipments held steady.

This has to be especially gratifying for HP's Palo Alto, Calif.- and Houston-based Personal Systems Group, which was ticketed to be spun off or sold a year ago under former CEO Leo Apotheker. In her first major decision, current CEO Meg Whitman reversed that strategy and assured the company and its investors that HP would remain in the PC business for a long time to come.

Canalys listed the top five PC suppliers as HP, Apple, Lenovo, Acer and Dell, in that order. Third-place Lenovo appears to be on a fast track with year-on-year growth of 50 percent; Acer and Dell each experienced a slight year-over-year decline in shipments, Canalys said.

Dell marketed a tablet PC for a short time in 2010 but dropped the product in 2011.

Canalys reported that the overall PC market grew by 21 percent to 107 million units. While tablet shipments grew the most, by 200 percent, notebook and desktop PC shipments also rose by 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively. However, netbook shipments slipped down 34 percent and have fallen for six straight quarters, according to Canalys. 

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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