Surging iPad Helps Apple Snag No. 1 PC Spot from HP

Apple's share of the smartphone market may have slipped last quarter, but where the iPhone slacked, the iPad picked up, propelling the company past HP an into the pole position as the number one PC manufacturer in the world. Overall PC sales jumped 12 percent compared to the same time in 2011 and nearly one in five PCs shipped last quarter sported the iconic Apple logo.

Wait! Didn't we report just a few weeks back that second quarter PC shipments were flat and Lenovo and HP were duking it out for the global top spot, with Apple nowhere to be found? Indeed we did -- but that just shows it's all in how you look at things. Canalys, the firm behind the latest figures, considers tablets to be PCs while Gartner and IDC don't.

To show what a difference that makes in the tabulations, consider this: HP doesn't sell consumer-orientated slates, only enterprise-focused Windows 7 tablets. The vast majority of its 13.5 million shipments are traditional desktops and notebooks. In contrast, Apple's latest sales figures show that the Cupertino company only moved 4 million Macs last quarter, even with all the hub-bub around the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Over 17 million of the 21 million PCs Apple moved last quarter were iPads.

With the tablet-friendly Windows 8 operating system looming on the horizon, don't expect the category confusion to clear anytime soon. Speaking of tablets, Canalys reports Samsung was the king of the Android hill, "more than doubling its Galaxy Tab shipments compared to a year ago."