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Surging iPad tablet shipments have propelled Apple to a 17.2 percent
share of worldwide mobile PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010,
placing Apple at the top of the DisplaySearch market share ranking.
According to preliminary results from the company’s Quarterly Mobile PC
Shipment and Forecast Report, Apple shipped more than 10.2 million
notebook and tablet PCs combined, nearly a million more units than
Hewlett-Packard (HP) in the same period.

The report also noted while Apple’s iPad is benefiting from a
first-mover advantage, particularly in mature markets, its notebook PC
shipment growth rate continues to exceed the industry average. Among
the top five brands in the mobile PC market, Toshiba was the only other
company to exhibit year of year shipment growth.

HP, Acer Group (including Founder shipments), and Dell took the second,
third and fourth positions, respectively. HP rang up 9.3 million sales
of mobile PCs, representing 15.6 percent of the market, Acer moved 8.4
million units for a 14 percent market share and Dell sold 5.9 million
units, taking just under 10 percent of the market.

Toshiba’s shipments increased 15 percent year over year to more than
5.1 million units in Q4 2010, as it maintained its number five position
in market share. The top five brands accounted for 65.4 percent of the
total mobile PC market, the report found.

“While we anticipate increased competition in the tablet PC market
later this year with the introduction of Android Honeycomb-based
tablets, Apple’s iPad business is complementing a notebook line whose
shipments widely exceed the industry average growth rate,” said Richard
Shim, senior analyst at DisplaySearch. “Apple is currently benefiting
from significant and comprehensive growth from both sectors of the
mobile PC spectrum, notebooks and tablet PCs. Cannibalization seems
limited at this point.”

In Q4 2010, worldwide mobile PC shipments (including tablet PCs)
reached 59.6 million, up 8 percent compared with Q4 2009 and 17 percent
year over year, the highest volume since DisplaySearch first began to
track this segment in 1999. The report noted the growth of notebook PC
shipments, excluding tablets, was weak in Q4 2010, up just four percent
quarter over quarter and one percent year over year.