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iPad and Macbook Make Apple 3rd Biggest Notebook Firm Worldwide

Depending on how you look at various data, Apple may well be considered to be the third biggest laptop manufacturer in the world ahead of Dell, Asus, Lenovo and Toshiba but behind Acer and HP.

To achieve this, Chris Whitmore, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, worked on the assumption that the notebook category also includes the likes of tablets and netbooks and used reliable data from IDC's global portable computing market share survey from the last quarter.

After adding the number of iPads to the number of Macbooks and Macbook Pros, Apple's total unit sold jumped from 2.47 million to more than 5.74 million. In addition, Whimore noticed that while year on year growth for other vendors slowed down, that of Macbooks accelerated.

This, he concluded, comes from the fact that the iPad seems to be cannibalising sales from all Windows-based laptop vendors. Whether it makes sense to add tablets to portable computers (or mobile computers - Whitmore used both terms interchangeably), remains to be seen.

It will be interesting to be interesting to see how the trend turns out as Android tablets start to inundate the market by the end of the year. Furthermore, it would be equally enlighting to see whether smartphones like the Dell Streak end up in both categories.