Wait a second — HP, Lenovo and Dell are all bigger than Apple, right? Yes, but only if you count traditional PCs. However, if you count both tablets and desktops — aka iPads and Macs — as computers, Apple is far and away the world’s biggest PC maker.

Counting iPads, Apple has been the world’s biggest PC maker since at least 2012.

Disagree? So, is a Chromebook a PC. If yes, all Chromebooks, which are clearly not created equally? Yeah, it’s a sticky issue.

Regardless, Canalys has done the PC numbers, including tablets, and come to the inescapable conclusion that, yes, Apple is the world’s biggest PC marker.


The rapid growth in the tablet market has caused markets in Western Europe and North America to become highly penetrated and shipment volumes have started to decline. Growth in these markets now relies on consumer replacements or increasing business purchases, neither of which looks likely to pick up significantly in the coming quarters,” says Coulling. “We are continuing to see the tablet market slowing down in less penetrated markets, where large smart phones are now replacing tablets and other devices for accessing the Internet — Canalys.

Yep, for many people in developed nations, an Apple iPad or other brand tablet has replaced their home PC. Although the modern tablet market is only five years old, it has matured quickly, so new tablet sales increasingly mean replacement sales.

See also: Best Mac Antivirus: 10 Mac AV Apps Tested, Compared

Further, in developing markets like China and India, many consumers don’t have home or even office PCs and their big, 5-inch or larger smartphone — aka phablet — is their computer.

Here again, however, given that Apple is once again the world’s biggest smartphone maker, adding phablet sales wouldn’t change the result — Apple would still be the world’s smartphone maker.

So, should we also count phablets as PC, too? Or, is counting iPads as computers already a step too far?

Sound off in the comments below, people…