In a note to investors on Monday, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi said that Apple is looking to expand its smartphone market share by addressing the cost of its handsets. Apple doesn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” Apple COO Tim Cook reportedly told Sacconaghi in a meeting, a possible indication that the company is looking to offer a less expensive iPhone option or even work with carriers to offer better rates. Cook is also said to have told the analyst that Apple will be doing “clever things” in the prepaid market. Cook noted that Apple will continue to focus on the tablet market as well, where it has seen huge success. Sacconaghi believes tablets could soon end up being a $60 billion to $100 billion business for Apple, whose iPad currently owns the majority of the tablet market. More →
Led by tremendous continued demand for Apple’s iPad, tablet sales helped drive impressive 19% fourth-quarter growth in the global PC market according to research firm Canalys. Strong Mac and iPad sales resulted in 241% growth year-over-year for the Cupertino-based company, which passed Dell this quarter to become the third-largest PC vender in the world. Shipments jumped from 3.4 million to 11.5 million units, and Apple now owns 10.8% of the global PC market. Ahead of Apple is Acer, which saw 8.8% growth year-over-year in the fourth quarter. The company shipped 13.6 million PCs amounting to 12.8% of the global market. Atop the list with 17.7% of the market is HP, which shipped 18.7 million computers in the fourth quarter. Year-over-year growth slowed to 2.9%, however, while companies like Dell and Lenovo showed double-digit growth. HP plans to enter the tablet market in the first half of this year, and it is expected to announce its first tablet devices at a press event next month.
As to whether or not tablets like the Apple iPad should be included in PC sales figures, Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam addresses the question quite well: “Any argument that a pad is not a PC is simply out of sync,” Chiam said in a statement. “With screen sizes of seven inches or above, ample processing power, and a growing number of applications, pads offer a computing experience comparable to netbooks. They compete for the same customers and will happily coexist. As with smart phones, some users will require a physical keyboard, while others will do without.” Hit the break for Canalys’ full release. More →
Research firm IDC said on Tuesday that 17 million consumer tablets shipped in 2010 according to its Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker. In a press release, the firm also stated that the tablet market’s remarkable third-quarter growth of 45% was due almost entirely to sales of Apple’s iPad. Calling them “media tablets,” IDC says 4.8 million consumer tablets were shipped globally in the third quarter, up from 3.3 million units in Q2, and approximately 4.2 million of them were iPads. “The media tablet market’s rapid evolution will continue to accelerate in 4Q10 and beyond with new product and service introductions, channel expansion, price competition and experimentation with new use cases among consumers and enterprises,” said IDC’s research director in charge of mobile connected devices, Susan Kevorkian. Hit the jump for IDC’s press release. More →