Apple is pretty much single-handedly driving the growth of worldwide PC sales to companies and government, according to new data from Forrester Research. In an otherwise dismal outlook found in the research firm’s Global Tech Market Outlook 2012 to 2013 report, which sees growth of PC sales overall rising only around 2% in 2012, Apple is responsible for keeping that increase positive, with Windows PC sales projected to fall overall.
Apple’s share continues to show positive growth, while Windows devices are trending downward and will actually see negative growth in 2012 according to Forrester. While Macs are showing strong performance, with $7 billion in sales in 2012, up from $6 billion in 2011, the real driver is the iPad, which was responsible for $10 million in 2012, up 76% from 2011 sales.
But the inclusion of iPads in these numbers will no doubt strike some as problematic. Is the iPad a PC? Should it be counted as such when taking an overarching look at industry trends? Well Forrester isn’t stacking the deck, at least. It also tracks Android tablets (somewhat oddly lumped in with Linux PCs), which are on pace to grow 52% in 2012.
In the end, looking at the numbers without the iPad is like looking at half of a picture. And if you look at forecasted growth for 2013, Apple’s iPad becomes an even bigger piece of the picture. Sales of the iPad are expected to account for $15 billion in corporate PC sales, versus a modest $1 billion increase for the Mac, and flat sales of Windows machines at $124 billion, after having contracted a projected 3% between 2011 and 2012.
So while some may still ask if the iPad belongs in the PC category, it’s getting harder to argue against its inclusion, as the tablet’s fortunes continue to rise while the market overall hits a rough spot.