In April 2013, I suggested that industry leaders should stop separating tablets from the rest of PCs because, in reality, there's truly no difference. In "The PC is Not Dead. It’s Just Different," I made the case that the PC acronym stands for "personal computer," and no matter what form it comes in, it's still a "personal" piece of technology. Except for the size and style, there's no functional difference between a tablet and a mini-tower desktop sitting under the desk. So, if this is the case, then adding tablet sales into general PC sales will show that the PC is not dead, as many have announced.
Canalys, an analyst firm serving APAC, Americas, and EMEA, has released a report that finally aligns with that way of thinking and combines tablets into worldwide PC shipments. The numbers are ... interesting.
The combined numbers show that Apple is the top PC manufacturer, due largely to the popularity of the iPad. And, even though iPad shipments are down, Apple retains the lead at 19.4 percent. Lenovo is in second place with 12.1 percent of the share, and HP fills out the top three at 12.5 percent. Samsung, though, saw a whopping 106.2 percent growth, largely due to delivering devices with the Android OS implanted on them. Dell, which is struggling right now while trying to reinvent itself and suffer through the possibility of going private, makes the list—but barely.
Combing the tablet and PC numbers, Canalys has shown that the PC is not dead. The market is actually flat. One thing that the report doesn't take into account (and frankly it's a hard number to target) is just how many PCs are still alive and kicking and will only be replaced when they die. Electronic components have a much longer life span than 5-10 years ago, which means PCs won't need to be replaced as often. So, a flat market doesn't necessarily mean that tablets are replacing PCs, either. From what I know and hear, tablets aren't being used to perform one-to-one function replacements for PCs, but instead are being utilized as a second screen, or as an extension of a normal computing environment.
Read the full Canalys report: PC market flat in Q2 2013, despite tablet growth