Could Apple retake top spot among portable computer makers in 2012?
It's a difficult question for some analysts to answer. Is the iPad a new class of device or is it a version of an ultra-portable notebook? How you group the iPad makes a huge difference to those professionals trying to assess the impact of the iPad on the notebook computer market.
If you group the iPad into the computer category, Apple could bump HP out of the top spot and become the world's largest notebook vendor. Apple is projected to ship 40 million tablets and 15 million MacBook notebooks in 2011. Combined, these two products produce a total shipment volume of
75 55 million units in the next few years. HP is expected to ship 50 million notebooks in 2011 and beyond, a number that is far less than Apple. The volume of iPad shipments is predicted to skyrocket to 60 million in 2012 and could firmly entrench Apple as the #1 PC maker globally.
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