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HELSINKI, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Consumers picking up tablet
computers, or pads, during the holiday season boosted the
personal computer market 19.2 percent in the fourth quarter,
research firm Canalys said on Wednesday.

Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE:HPQ) and Acer Inc (TW:2353) continued
to lead the global market, while strong sales of the iPad lifted
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) to No. 3 ranking globally on the basis of
number of machines sold, Canalys said.

Dell Inc (NASDAQ:DELL) fell to fourth place and Lenovo Group Ltd
(HK:0992) to fifth.

"Each new product category typically causes a significant
shift in market shares. Apple is benefiting from pads, just as
Acer, Samsung and Asus previously did with netbooks," analyst
Daryl Chiam said in a statement.

"The PC industry has always evolved this way, starting when
Toshiba and Compaq rode high on the original notebook wave."

Other research firms, including Gartner and IDC, have said
PC market growth slowed at the end of 2010 to around 3 percent,
but they have so far excluded the emerging tablet market from
their PC forecasts.

"Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,"
Chiam said. "With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample
processing power and a growing number of applications, pads
offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They
compete for the same customers."
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by David Holmes)