Independent analyst firm Canalys reports a 12% growth year-on-year for PC shipments in Q4 2012, with 134.0 million computers sold. “Pads” (tablets) accounted for over a third of that figure.The market research firm reports that Apple is leader of the pack by quite a margin, “shipping 27.0 million units and taking its share over 20% for the first time.”
The Cupertino giant’s growth is primarily backed by iPad sales. Canalys reports “strong demand for the iPad mini,” adding that Apple’s overall shipments have been “hampered by supply issues,” referring to the manufacturing difficulties incurred by the latest iMac line, and the diminutive tablet computer.
Wall Street analysts agree that Apple’s forecast for Q4 2012 could have been a lot more positive had the company’s supply chain partners been able to churn out more units.
Notably, Canalys’ industry checks indicate that the iPad mini made up over half of Apple’s total tablet shipments.
The analysts cited the mini’s “attractive price point and compact design leading to significant cannibalization in the iPad range and wider PC market,” as the key driving factors of its success.
“Despite record shipments, Q4 saw Apple’s pad share dip to 49%, becoming the first quarter it has not controlled over half the market,” adds Canalys.
Pin-Chen Tang, Canalys research analyst, adds, “Apple timed the launch of the iPad mini well.”
“Its success proves there is a clear demand for pads with smaller screens at a more affordable price. Without the launch, Apple would surely have lost more ground to its competitors,” says Tang.
Apple currently sells the iPad mini worldwide in Wi-Fi and cellular configurations with 16GB, 32GB, and 64 GB storage options.
The Cupertino tech giant also recently introduced a 128GB version of the full-size (9.7-inch) iPad with Retina display, further disrupting the industry for competitors like Microsoft with their Surface Pro tablet.