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Apple's 19.5 percent share of global PC & tablet sales now larger than Dell & HP combined

Market research firm Canalys reports that Apple achieved a 19.5 percent slice of global, combined PC and tablet sales in the fourth calendar quarter of 2013. That's a larger share of unit sales than Dell and HP together, and well in advance of second place Lenovo and third place Samsung.

Canalys counts tablets

Canalys is unique among market research groups (including Gartner, IDC and Strategy Analytics) in that it recognizes tablet shipments as being a key segment of the PC industry.

The firm notes that tablets now account for nearly 50 percent of PC unit sales.

Other research firms used to include tablets in their PC market share reports during the two decades where most tablets were boosting the numbers attributed to Microsoft's Windows. When Apple began selling tablets, Gartner and IDC began to exclude the iPad, counting it separately instead as a non-PC "media tablet."

That gerrymandering of the PC market didn't stop Apple's iPad from having a profound impact on the PC market, it just distracted attention away from the clear and obvious trend among consumers and the enterprise in favor of iPads at the expense of conventional PC form factors.

Apple's iPad share increasing despite cheap tablet alternatives

Canalys reported that, including tablets, the global PC market grew 17.9 percent, with tablets accounting for all of that growth. Year over year, tablet sales grew 64.2 percent to reach 76.3 million units.

Tablets accounted for 48.3 percent of all PC sales, while non-tablet PCs alone declined by 6.9 percent over the previous year, "with falls in all regions" the company stated.

Apple's iPad accounted for 26 million tablet sales, or more than a third of all tablets sold. That share increased from the 27.3 percent slice of tablets Canalys reported in the year ago quarter. Including Macs, Apple sold a total of 30.9 million computers.

Canalys also noted that Apple has an even greater 38.3 percent share of tablet sales in China, where cheap alternative devices are readily available.

"But competition is mounting and Android tablets are falling in price, which will put pressure on Apple's market share in 2014," Canalys warned.

Apple's iPhone, Mac share also increasing despite cheaper alternatives

At the same time, Apple's share of conventional PC notebooks has been increasing in unit share despite the supply of much cheaper tablets offered by every other PC maker.

Apple's iPhone market share is also increasing despite the fact that Average Selling Prices of competitors' smartphones are far lower.

According to data from IDC, the ASP of all non-iPhone devices it categorizes as a "smartphone" is now around $270. Apple's iPhone ASP is more than twice that, around $635.