HP tops Apple again in PC shipments

Hewlett-Packard is making a quick comeback in the global client PC market share race.

After just one quarter, the Silicon Valley giant has retaken the lead just a few months after it slipped behind Apple at the end of 2011, according to the latest report from analyst house Canalys.

HP's lead in the first quarter of 2012 was a close one, outshipping Apple by roughly only 40,000 units.

Apple skirted past HP in the fourth quarter, mainly thanks to iPad sales. However, if you paid attention to Apple's recent quarterly earnings announcements, you'll remember that iPad shipments didn't meet expectations. Apple shipped approximately 11.8 million iPads last quarter, bringing its total client PC number for the quarter to 15.8 million.

But given the close gap between Apple and HP, as well as Canalys analyst predictions that tablets are exhibiting the most growth -- at a rate of more than 200 percent, year over year -- it could be anyone's crown for the taking next quarter.

Nevertheless, Canalys analysts also added in the report that tablet sales are a bit lopsided, with more of them stemming from the United States than elsewhere.

Canalys research analyst Tom Evans explained further in the report:

Most of the leading PC vendors have done a reasonable job of offsetting the declines in their Netbook shipments over the past year with increased pad business. Samsung and Lenovo are two that stand out, in terms of substantially increasing overall volume, though Asus has performed well too. The challenge is breaking out into the really big volumes to challenge the leaders, Apple and Amazon. So far, only Samsung has shown it can routinely ship more than a million pads a quarter.

Lenovo, Acer, and Dell rounded out the top five.


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