Apple iPads and Macs push computer giant past Hewlett Packard for top spot in PC sales

The popularity of Apple products like Mac computers and iPad tablets has made the Cupertino, Calif., the world leader in PC sales, Photo by Scott Eells/Bloomberg
Apple's iPad isn’t just the top-selling tablet in the world — it helped push the company past Hewlett Packard to become the No. 1 personal computer vendor.

Tech research firm Canalys, which counts tablets as PCs when tabulating global market share, on Monday said the more than 15 million iPads sold in the fourth quarter last year propelled Apple to the top spot among computer makers.

Sales of the popular tablet, along with 5 million Mac computers, gave Apple 17% of the 120 million client PCs shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter, said Canalys.

The total client PC market — which includes desktops, netbooks, notebooks and tablets — rose 16% in 2011 compared to the previous year.

Pads were 22% of total PC shipments during the period.

Take away tablet sales, and the client PC market actually fell 0.4%, according to the report.

HP struggled to make a dent in the tablet market last year with its TouchPad, which the company discontinued and ended up discounting for as low as $99.

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