A Third of All PC’s Purchased in Quarter 4 of 2012 Were Tablets, A New Study Finds…

Canalys, analyzing the number of total PC’s that were shipped in the 4th Quarter of 2012, discovered an interesting fact: Nearly 1 in 3 of every PC shipped, were in fact a tablets. Who would’ve seen that a few years ago? Not only that, it appears that Apple is taking the biggest chunk of the pie once again, because out of all the tablets sold, about half of them were iPads, meaning one out of every six PC’s purchased in Q4 2012, was some form of Apple’s iPad.

What can this tell us about the future of PCs? Well, most likely they’re all going to be touch-screens before long, though non-touchscreen PC’s will probably hold strong for a while, on account of the fact that touchscreens are more expensive, and don’t have as much use to a stationary PC, as they they do a mobile one. We also see a shift to a more portable type of computer… Pretty soon, no one will own a desktop.

Considering how well the iPad did, Apple was the #1 seller of PC’s in last year’s final quarter, selling just over 20% of all PC’s, a number that’s obviously vastly enhanced by their iPad sales. An interesting turn of events, considering everyone complained, originally, that the iPad was just “a big iPhone with no phone”.  It’s pretty amazing to see what Apple is able to accomplish with every product they put out, hopefully the trend will continue, even after the loss of Steve Jobs.

The thing that really saved the success of the iPad, was the iPad Mini. A research analyst over at Canalys, by the name of Pin-Chen Tang, mentioned that “Its success proves there is a clear demand for pads with smaller screens at a more affordable price. Without the launch, Apple would surely have lost more ground to its competitors.”. This fact will probably motivate Apple to try out different sizes and price-points for various other iPad/iPhone devices in the future (is there a really large iPhone on the horizon?).

Luckily for Apple, Microsoft’s Surface RT went the way of the Zune. A product that tried to be so many things for so many people, ended up being nothing for no one, and sadly, ended Q4 of 2012 with less than 750,000 sales on the quarter. Hopefully for them, the Surface Pro, which is based on the new Windows 8 OS, will help the tablet’s sales, since the previous version was based on the unpopular, “Windows RT”.

Last but not least we have Amazon, who’s sales didn’t get it into the top 5, but still beat Microsoft’s Surface RT by almost 4 million sales. It’s an interesting shift, to see a former E-reader, and a former PC company, competing in the same space, over a product that’s, let’s face it, somewhere in between.

So the history books will write Apple as the winner in 2012, particularly the final quarter, but now’s not a time for them to rest on their laurels, with the Surface Pro likely to make waves for Microsoft, and the Amazon Fire catching up in sales at a rapid pace, Apple is going to need to keep their game at a solid ten, if they’re going to remain the Kings and Queens of the tablet industry. We’ll see how these new releases affect sales in 2013.

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