Give iPad some credit for Apple's brisk Mac sales

HP still ranked at No. 1 in Q4 but saw PC shipments fall hard, partly due to fears over company's plans to dump PC business

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HP, meanwhile, lost any potential halo effect it might have reaped; its badly botched bid for the tablet and smartphone market ultimately resulted in the company unloading WebOS on the open source community.

Additionally, HP and other PC makers didn't see as much success as they might have hoped for in Ultrabook sales in Q4, according to Gartner. "Ultrabooks didn't seem to draw consumers' attention. Consumers had very little understanding and awareness of Ultrabooks, and only a small group of consumers was willing to pay the price premium for such models," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

Ultrabooks have generated plenty of attention and hype at this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show), though whether consumers will ultimately bite remains to be seen.

As for the other PC vendors' Q4 results for 2011:

  • Year over year, Dell shipped nearly 8 percent more PCs globally, though the company's U.S. shipments dipped by 4.5 percent. The Texas-based hardware maker's U.S. market share is 22.4 percent, 0.7 percent less than No. 1-ranked HP.
  • Asus gained some ground on HP in the global market despite generally weak consumer sales. According to Gartner, Asus's shift from mini-notebooks to regular notebooks helped the company reap 20.5 percent growth year over year and end the quarter ranked No. 5 for market share by shipping 6.2 million PCs.
  • Acer lost significant ground, both in the United States and globally. The company shipped around 18 percent fewer machines globally, year over year, down from 12 million to 9.8 million. It holds the No. 4 slot for global market share. Acer shipped fewer units in the United States, dropping from 1.9 million to 1.7 million. Previously in third place in terms of U.S. market share, it's now ranked No. 5.

All in all, Gartner's preliminary figures reveal that HP's global shipments for the entire year totaled 60.5 million, down 3.5 percent from 62.7 million in 2010. Lenovo's global shipments for the year were 45.7 million, a 19.7 jump from the 38.2 million PCs the company shipped in 2010. Dell's numbers were fairly consistent: It shipped 42.8 million machines in 2011 compared to 42.1 million in 2010. Acer's annual PC shipments plummeted by 19.2 percent: 39.4 million for 2011 compared to 48.8 million for 2010. And Asus shipped 20.8 million PCs globally in 2011 versus 18.9 million in 2010, representing a 9.9 percent year-over-year increase.

This story, "Give iPad some credit for Apple's brisk Mac sales," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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