The other day, I asked "what is the addressable market for the iPad?" and argued that Apple should (and probably does) think of the entire PC market as the target.
At least one market research firm, Canalys, seems to agree -- in its survey of PC makers, it included the iPad as a PC, which makes Apple the number-one PC maker in the world.
Here are sales figures by manufacturer for the last quarter of 2012:
- Apple: 27 million units, 20% share. Apple's own figures say it sold 22.9 million iPads and 4.1 million Macs.
- HP: 15 million units, 11% share
- Lenovo: 14.8 million units, 11% share.
- Samsung: 11.7 million units, 9% share. Canalys estimates 7.6 million of those PCs were tablets (or "pads" as the firm calls them).
- Dell: 9.7 million units, 7% share.
Amazon also shipped 4.6 million units during the quarter, mostly Kindle Fire devices, which run a non-Google fork of Android.
More to the point, Canalys said that all the growth in the PC business came from tablets, which grew 75% during the full year while the rest of the PC market remained flat.
But Microsoft's Windows 8 has not helped it capture that market -- only 3% of all tablets sold during Q4 ran Windows.
Once again, the post-PC era is here. Apple is one-fifth of the way to capturing the whole thing. If anybody stops Apple, it looks more likely to be the Android open-source juggernaut with all its various forks rather than Microsoft.