Santa Clara, Calif. - Apple dominated the mobile computer category for the fourth quarter of 2011, with a 26.6 percent market share, according to NPD DisplaySearch.
Apple led the category, which encompasses laptops and tablets, shipping a total of 23.4 million units in the last quarter of the year for a total of 62.8 million for the entire year. Of these, 18.7 million were tablets and 4.6 million were laptops. For all of 2011 Apple shipped 48.4 million iPads, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 156 percent and a 183 percent year-over-year increase.
Following Apple in the tablet category was Amazon, with 5.3 million, units shipped, and Samsung, Asus and Barnes & Noble.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble both entered the tablet category in late 2011 with the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, respectively.
Hewlett-Packard was the second largest mobile computer shipper, although all of its 8.7 million units were laptops, as the company entered and quickly abandoned the consumer tablet market in 2011.
Overall mobile PC shipments grew 12 percent for the fourth quarter and 44 percent year over year. About 88 million mobile units shipped in the fourth quarter. Of these, 31.7 million were tablets.
Notebook shipments were essentially flat during the fourth quarter, but they were up 11 percent for the year, with factories churning out 56.3 million units. DisplaySearch blamed the weak fourth-quarter demand on consumers' increased desire for tablets, which was due, in part, to vendors dropping tablet prices to drive holiday sales, said Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst.
HP maintained its top position, shipping 8.7 million units, or a 15.5 percent share, with Dell, Acer and Lenovo grabbing the second, third and fourth spots. Apple was in fifth, with 8.3 percent of the market.