Apple to pass HP as the world’s top PC and tablet vendor

When counting tablets as personal computers, Apple will soon overtake Hewlett-Packard as the world’s top PC vendor. Based on a Fortune poll of 42 analysts, iPad sales could hit the 14 million mark in the fourth quarter, a big bump over the 11.12 million sold in the third quarter. Apple previously sold 4.89 million Macs, with holiday sales estimated to exceed 5 million units. When combined, both iPad and Mac sales are expected to be over 20 million units during the holiday quarter, which would be enough to push Apple past HP. The estimated sales would give the Cupertino-based company a 17.6% market share versus HP’s 13%. Asymco’s Horace Dediu noted that Apple has never held the top spot; the company’s market share peaked at 15.8% thanks to the Apple II in 1984. Last quarter, Apple surprised Wall Street when the company announced lower-than-expected earnings, however Apple is expected to crush estimates when it announces its December-quarter earnings on January 24th.

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