Canalys: PC shipments boosted in Q4 by holiday tablet sales

PCs (when including tablets) got a boost last quarter, but that trend shouldn't be expected to continue.

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The global PC industry might have ended 2013 on a high note, based on at least one recap for the fourth quarter.

Market research firm Canalys has published worldwide PC shipment figures for the December quarter. A big catch is that Canalys lumped tablets in with traditional PCs, meaning desktops and laptops.

Thus, when taken altogether, the worldwide PC market grew 17.9 percent annually during the three-month period. But when tablets are left out of the picture, shipments were actually down by 6.9 percent year-over-year.

For reference, Canalys offered the following definition for how it classifies a PC:

Canalys defines a client PC as a computing device designed to be operated by an individual and positioned to serve a broad range of purposes, achieved by running third-party applications, some of which can work independently of a network connection. When designed to be portable, it must be able to function without mains power and have a built-in diagonal display size of at least 7 inches.

Accounting for 48.3 percent of the PC game, tablets on their own grew by a whopping 65.2 percent annually, with roughly 76.3 million units shipped worldwide.

Analysts did not offer a total sum figure for PC shipments overall during the quarter.

On a vendor level, Apple led the top five, which consisted of Lenovo, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell, respectively.

Cupertino had significant help from the iPad. Apple shipped approximately 30.9 million units -- 26 million of which were iPads. That's 84.3 percent of its total shipment volume for the fourth quarter.

Chart via Canalys