Last Qtr: Apple iPad Outsells HP’s PCs

For the 4th calendar quarter in 2011, Apple’s iPad outsold Hewlett Packard’s PCs. This is a trend that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says will continue, and the iPad sales will eventually surpass all PCs.

During Apple’s Earning Call on Tuesday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said, “Over time. And as I’ve said before, I thoroughly believe and many others in the company believe that there will come a day that the tablet market in units is up larger than the PC market.” (For now and for the foreseeable future, the iPad is the tablet market.)

That hasn’t happened yet, but Apple is off to a good start. In the 4th calendar quarter of 2011, the leading PC seller, Hewlett-Packard, sold 14.71 million PCs. Apple, as reported yesterday, sold 15.43 million iPads in the same quarter. So while Apple is far from Mr. Cook’s long term prediction, the company is off to a good start, having passed just one of the PC makers, the biggest maker of PCs in the world, in the holiday quarter.

PC sales data

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster predicts that Apple will sell 48.5 million iPads in FY12 and 62 million in FY13. Even of that turns out to be a mildly conservative estimate, the iPad sales still won’t be enough to surpass the total of all PC sales by 2013, but the trend is now clear and the path is set.