by Michael Tarsala
I always go to Richard Shim at DisplaySearch when I need to understand what's really going on in the tablet and notebook market.
So I asked him today for some perspective on this Apple (AAPL) chart that is making the rounds:
You can see that that the PC-to-Mac ratio has been falling since 2004 and now is approaching levels last seen in 1985 -- even though Macs are still outsold 17-to-1 by PCs.
"It's an improving, but poor ratio," Shim says. "But Apple is doing just fine. The relatively low Mac numbers are more than made up for by the growth in tablets and smart phones."
It's all about platforms, Shim says. That's why DisplaySearch counts tablets in the PC shipment numbers that they track.
Apple looks far better when you look at the Mac plus iPad numbers vs. tablet and mobile PC shipments from the other manufacturers.
Source: NPD DisplaySearch Q2’12 Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report
By that measure, Apple has the top mobile platform share with 22% of the market, nearly double that of its closest competitor, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ).
And tablets are becoming the mobile platform of choice: DisplaySearch projects that they will exceed notebook shipments in 2016.