Analyst: Apple’s iPad puts it firmly on top of notebook sales charts

by Phil Hornshaw

A new analysis of notebook sales suggests not only is Apple’s iPad taking a bite out of the sales of traditional computers, but that by taking iPad sales into account, Apple is the top computer seller in the industry.

The numbers come from Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore, who took a look at notebook sales stretching back to 2008, according to a story from GigaOM. Those numbers show HP leading the top six global notebook manufacturers, with Apple the lowest of the six until now: second quarter 2011. That’s when Whitmore changes the game a bit.

Whitmore re-plotted Q2 2011 on the graph, taking into account iPad sales. Suddenly, Apple leapt from the bottom of the pack to the top, displacing HP as the top computer seller in the world. The analysis also shows that other notebook sales have taken a pretty drastic drop, correlating with the release of the iPad 2. This suggests that Apple’s device might be taking the place of traditional computers.

There are a lot of statistics out there that show how much of the mobile market Apple holds down with the iPad; generally, it’s found to be up above 70 percent. Other companies are struggling to break into the tablet market and can’t seem to find a decent foothold against Apple’s dominance. If Whitmore’s numbers are to be believed, it seems that the tablet market is not the only place that tech companies need to fear the iPad.

Other analysts figure that Apple and the iPad will remain fairly dominant for some time, although competitors are eventually going to start to push back as they begin to find better ways to best the iPad in various respects. An analysis from DigiTimes predicts that Apple will have about 61 percent of the tablet market by the end of the year, shipping 40 million of the roughly 61 million tablet expected to be on the market.

Regardless of just how much of this market the iPad might be allowing Apple to take control of, there’s one thing that’s for sure: the iPad is driving some serious cash into Apple’s coffers – like $6 billion in the last quarter, which resulted in record revenues. Other companies are certainly taking notice, and if the iPad is really breaking down the doors of the PC market with its tablet as well as the mobile computing market, the necessity to find a way to slow Apple’s juggernaut is even more imperative. We’re already seeing the results in the form of lots of new devices from lots of different companies, each looking for a chink in Apple’s armor.