Apple is set to overtake Hewlett Packard in the second half of 2012, making it the largest seller of PC hardware - though these estimates do take tablets into consideration.
This prediction comes from market research firm Canalys, which said that while Apple is likely to become king of the hill in the latter half of next year it would probably take the launch of the iPad 3 for the firm to really claim the top spot due to the recent increase of tablet competition from companies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
“Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9% to 15% in just four quarters," explains Canalys analyst Tim Coulling, "though iPad shipments in its core market – the United States – are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points."
Don't count HP out just yet, though: while it exited the tablet game earlier this year due to being incapable of competing with Apple and other rivals, its new hardware push has been in the Ultrabook range. Its first entry in the market is the 13" Folio, which features a claimed nine hour battery life and a low weight of just 1.5kg.
Canalys did add to the report that it saw Ultrabook sales growing over the next five years, but that for them to see widespread adoption prices would have to come down dramatically. “The least expensive models are currently around $800, a real barrier to mass consumer uptake," claimed analyst Michael Kauh.