HP CEO Meg Whitman admitted in a recent interview that if you count tablets, Apple may very well bust past them in PC sales after holiday sales are tallied up. A bunch of analyst estimates suggest Apple could break 20 million combined iPad and Mac unit sales over the holidays. That would put it over the 14.7 million that HP had churned out last quarter, and well ahead of other manufacturers like Acer, Dell, and Lenovo. Of course, if you don't count the iPad, and only Mac sales, Apple falls well behind the whole lot. Over the holidays, it's estimated Apple cleared little over 5 million Mac units.
I'm still a little dubious about counting the current breed of tablets as full-blown PCs, despite being great computing devices. There's no lack of Macbook Air owners that aren't inclined to also carry around an iPad, and Windows 8 is showing that other big-boy laptops will soon be able to slim down to the size of tablets borne of smartphone operating systems.
These are interesting estimates to consider, but we won't know for sure how well Apple's Mac and iPad sales did until they announce their quarterly results on January 24. What do you guys think - is it fair to lump in the iPad with Mac sales when talking about the PC market?