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Apple tops tablet, mobile computer markets in Q1

Lagging in laptops, mind

Apple iPad 3 aka new iPad

The usual caveat applies: these numbers only work if you factor in tablet sales. Do, says market watcher DisplaySearch, and Apple is once more the world's top-selling maker of mobile computers.

The Cupertino company took 22.5 per cent of the market in Q1, almost double the market share of its nearest rival, HP, which notched up 11.6 per cent.

Those figures are based on unit shipments of 17.2m and 8.9m, respectively.

Acer came in third (nine per cent, 6.9m units) followed by Lenovo (7.7 per cent, 5.9m) and Dell (7.3 per cent, 5.6m).

Of course, ignore tablets, and Apple immediately vanishes from the chart. The other four shift up a rung, and Asus moves up into fifth place, thanks to shipments of 4.4m units.

Apple shipped around 3.6m notebooks during the quarter, DisplaySearch's numbers show.

Apple's own figures for Q1 - the company's second fiscal quarter - put total iPad shipments at 11.8m units, with 4m Mac sales, some of them desktops. Even assuming Apple sold no desktops at all - all those 4m Macs were MacBooks - that still puts Apple's total less than the figure DisplaySearch gives. DisplaySearch reckons 13.6m iPads shipped.

We've asked DisplaySearch how it accounts for the discrepancy. To be fair, the company does point out that its numbers are "preliminary", so subject to change before the final figures are posted.

Meanwhile, focusing on tablets, the market watcher lines up Apple's rivals as follows, again based on unit shipments: Samsung (7.5 per cent, 1.9m units), Amazon (four per cent, 0.9m), RIM (2.3 per cent, 0.5m) and Asus (2.3 per cent, 0.5m). ®

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