July 1, 2011

Analysts Shifting on How They Count iPad Sales

Ed Sutherland, writing for Cult of Mac:

"Should tablets be classified alongside notebooks as Mobile PCs? HP has its fingers crossed and hopes no as the rising popularity of the iPad could see a new mobile PC king crowned in 2012."

It's taken a while for this issue to come to a head. If the iPad is considered a mobile PC device, like the MacBook, then Apple crushes everyone else on units shipped. Clearly, the iPad should qualify, especially after iOS 5 drops this fall. The device will no longer need to be tethered to a PC for initial configuration or syncing.

Another aspect is what category the OS falls into. When analysts compare iPhone sales to those of Android, as they have the past couple of years, they're really comparing apples to oranges. A proper comparison is iOS sales vs. Android sales. That change allows iPads into the mix, boosting Apple's mobile device numbers up to 200 million. I'd like to compare that to total Android units sold, but I can't seem to find a number.

We'll probably see analysts shifting on the OS comparison front, too, as Android tablet sales increase, and everyone realizes there's just not that much difference between a smartphone and a tablet, other than size.