Tablet PCs are this year’s netbooks, says Canalys report

The global PC market grew by 19 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, driven largely by the iPad and other Apple products, according to a new report from Canalys.

The analyst firm said that the impact of Apple’s Ipad propelled the company into third place in the PC market.

“Apple iPads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday season, ” said Canalys analyst Tim Coulling.

“They do not appeal to first-time buyers or low-income households, but are proving extremely popular as additional computing devices.”

Tablet PCs are this year’s netbooks, according to Canalys, and other manufacturers must “plan for the future and not remain stuck in the past”.

“With screen sizes of 7in or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applictions, tablets offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist,” said Canalys senior analyst Daryl Chiam.

However, Canalys did see some cause for concern in Europe where there is a substantial consumer inventory build up. This is likely to rise following recent VAT rises in the UK and other European countries.

Canalys also reported an increase in enterprise refresh programmes as more companies accept Windows 7 as a usable operating system.

“Recessionary budgets are over for most companies, and IT expenditure is again being used as a catalyst for growth,” said Coulling. The global market logged 105.8 million PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the report. HP leads with a 19 per cent market share, followed by Acer with 14.6 per cent and Apple with 11.5 per cent.

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