HP Now No. 2 to Apple (AAPL) in PC Sales

Look, another area where Apple is king, and here Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is relegated to runner-up. In a recent survey by Canalys that tracked the sales of personal computers, Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), led the way with a 19 percent market share of all PC sold in the second quarter of 2012. Hewlett-Packard came in second in this survey with 12 percent market share. HP had been the leader in the previous quarter.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)

Hewlett-Packard had been doing very well in its PC business, but now there ae questions with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) soon to launch its first PCs, the Surface and Surface Pro, which will soon have Window 8 installed. HP has been one of the loyal Windows PC vendors; if Surface does well and gives Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) its own direct market share, where will that leave companies like Hewlett-Packard?

Overall, PC shipment rose 12 percent over the same period a year ago, and tablets as a segment of the PC market rose 75 percent to 24 million units, or about 22 percent of all PCs shipped.  Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s PC shipments rose nearly 60 percent to 21 million units, while former leader HP saw an 11 percent drop to 13.5 million units. Lenovo was third in the most recent quarter with 13.1 million, a 27 percent increase over a year ago. The top Android tablet vendor was Samsung, which doubled its shipments from the prior year. Windows PCs, meanwhile, dropped to 73 percent of market share (an all-time low), while Intel processors dropped their market share to below 70 percent for the first time. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) experienced a sharp decline as well. Dell managed to sell 9.6 million units, down 10.9% year over year.

Apple is making a true imprint on the computer and communications world – first, taking over PC market share, dominating tablets and placing a very strong second to Samsung in smartphones. This new study is just the latest example of Apple’s continued strength and growth as an international brand. These other PC vendors will have their hands full trying to slow down the train, and how Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) affects the game with its direct entrance in the PC market will be something to watch as well. It could signal a new opportunity for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to gain more market share, while some vendors like Hewlett-Packard might be left rooting for the failure of the Surface.