One in Six PCs Shipped in Q4 2012 Was Really an iPad

1:6 - an Apple ThingOne in every six PCs that shipped in the December quarter of 2012 wasn't a traditional PC, but rather a tablet. Wait, make that the Apple iPad to be specific.

Research firm Canalys lumps touch tablets—or simply "pads" as the company called them in its latest report—in with PC sales. This is in part because tablets (we won't call them "pads") are displacing PCs for many consumers who use the new devices for things they would have previously used a desktop or laptop PC for.

Canalys was one of the first research firms to look at the industry in this light, while other companies like IDC and Gartner continue to look at them as two separate categories. When combined, Canalys considers Apple Inc. to be the largest PC maker on the planet.

Canalys said that the industry shipped 134 million PCs (including tablets) during the quarter. That's an increase of 12 percent year-over-year. When broken out separately, the desktop and laptop PC market declined year-over-year.

The company said that iPad mini drove growth for Apple during the quarter, helping Apple hit 27 million combined Mac and iPad sales for the quarter. Those numbers match Apple's own released numbers of 22.9 million iPads and 4.1 million Macs.

Combined, they gave Apple 20.1 percent of the PC market, according to Canalys, the first time Apple has topped 20 percent, and more than enough to make Apple the largest PC maker on the planet.

HP sold 15 million PCs (almost all desktops and laptops) for 11.2 percent share; Lenovo shipped 14.8 million units (mostly desktops and laptops) for 11 percent; Samsung entered the top five for the first time with 11.7 million units (a strong mix of PCs and tablets) and 9 percent of the market.

Dell, which announced this week that it was going private in a deal led by founder Michael Dell, was in 6th place with 9.7 million units—almost all desktops and laptops and down 19 percent year-over-year—and 7 percent of the market.

And Microsoft sold a couple of Windows RT units.

Image made with help from Shutterstock.