They sold 37 million iPhones, making them the number one smartphone brand once again, while continuing to generate impressive margins. But what may be even more significant is the iPad's showing. In fact, if you combine iPad and Mac sales, Apple appears to have become the top computer company in the world.
Two weeks ago a Gartner report indicated that HP shipped 14.7 million PCs over the same period. For a fair comparison, you would have to add their last batch of TouchPads, estimated at 200,000 units and refurbished TouchPads, almost certainly totaling no more than another 100,000. Apple's iPad sales, amounting to 15.4 million units, beat that on their own. Add in desktops and laptops and the number climbs to 20.6 million units.
|4Q11 Shipments||4Q11 Market Share (%)||4Q10 Shipments||4Q10 Market Share (%)||4Q11-4Q10 Growth (%)|
Keep in mind, sales aren't exactly the same as shipments. However, that's typically an issue because shipments may exaggerate sales. In this case, HP's shipments were lower than Apple's sales, and the disparity seems too big to dispute. HP sales would have to exceed shipments by more than a third to match Apple.
This may be an unfair comparison since tablets are significantly different than PCs. Whether they run Windows, OS X, Linux, PCs certainly include features the iPad doesn't. However, it seems undeniable the iPad's $500+ pricetag puts it in direct competition for the same customers and dollars.
It would be a mistake to say the iPad is the primary cause of HP's problems. If anything, their decision to buy Palm, and subsequent failure to develop WebOS into a competitive platform, was their biggest setback in the consumer market. At the same time, changes in enterprise spending have probably affected HP more than any other company.
If Windows 8 proves to be a viable competitor in the tablet world, HP could conceivably regain the title within the next two years. But for now Apple seems to have reached the top of the mountain.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 25 Jan 2012 11:30