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Tabs Rule PCs Drool, ‘Droid Eats iPad

Apple nabs 20% of the world PC market as iPads and Android tablets – especially Samsung Tabs – continue to bite into the PC pie.

Q4 2012 PC shipments were up 12% to 134 million, with ‘pads’ or tablets accounting for one in three of all PCs sold.

The tablet market grew an astonishing 75% to 46.2 million devices, totalling 114.6 m for 2012.

Apple now leads the PC race, shipping one in five PCs (including tablets) or 27 million, and now has a bigger share of the PC pie than ever before, says Canalys.

One in six PCs sold is an iPad. However, the iPad’s reign in the tablet market (49%) is fading, and Q4 was first time it has not controlled over half the market, as Android eats into its lions share (46%).

Apple arch rival Samsung soared with a massive 226% demand for its Galaxy Tabs, making it into the Canalys top 5 for first time beating Dell, who went private this week.

Samsung now has almost 10% of the PC market or 11.7 million devices, on the back of strong sales of Galaxy Tabs.

Android based tabs sold by Samsung, Amazon and Asus now account for 46% of tabs, the research shows.

But as Apple and Samsung Android tabs prosper, bad news for Microsft as only 3% of pads shipped in Q4 were on Windows OS, despite a major push by big brands on the Windows 7 and 8 platforms, as well as the launch of its own branded Surface tablet.

‘High pricing, poor channel strategy and a lack of clarity’ regarding its RT operating system led to Microsoft shifting just 720,000 Surface RT tablets.

“The outlook for Windows RT appears bleak” says Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst

“We expect Microsoft to rethink its pricing strategy for RT in the coming weeks. Dropping the price by 60% should get OEMs back onside.”

HP nabbed the No 2 spot shipping 15 m PCs, beating Lenovo just about to regain second place, with both on 11% market share.

However, as tabs grow at astonishing rates, notebooks continue to falter.

Dell’s reputation in the PC market continues to fade and fell almost 20% to 9.7 million.

“Its direct business model is expensive and unsuitable for driving growth in new markets. A turnaround in fortunes for the newly private Dell “is likely to take years,” says Canalys.

“Microsoft’s involvement in the Dell buyout raises eyebrows in the light of its recent aspirations to become a hardware vendor.”

The iPad mini made up over half of Apple’s total tablet shipments, leading to “significant cannibalization” of other iPad and wider PC demand.

“Apple timed the launch of the iPad mini well,” said Pin-Chen Tang, Canalys Research Analyst.

It “proves there is a clear demand for pads with smaller screens at a more affordable price.”

Amazon’s tablets grew 18% to 4.6 million units, as it expanded the Kindle Fire range and launched in markets outside the United States.

Google’s own Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 products performed relatively well, with combined shipments of 2.6 million.