Technology giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) became the third largest PC vendor in the fourth quarter of 2010, helped by strong sales of iPad and Mac as well as fast growth in the Asia Pacific region, according to the latest report from Canalys.

Apple shipped 11.5 million units, including Macs and iPads, and captured 10.8 percent PC market share in the fourth quarter of 2010. In the same period last year, Apple shipped only 3.4 million units and had only 3.8 percent share of the market.

Apple is benefiting from pads, just as Acer, Samsung and Asus previously did with netbooks, Canalys Senior Analyst Daryl Chiam said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard Co (NYSE: HPQ) and Acer Inc. continued to retain their spots as the top two PC vendors, while Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) dropped to fourth place and Lenovo Group Ltd to fifth.

Canalys said the PC market grew 19 percent in the final quarter of 2010 as consumers bought more tablet computers, or pads.

Pads gave consumers increased product choice over the holiday season,' said Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling. 'While they do not appeal to first-time buyers or low-income households, they are proving extremely popular as additional computing devices.

At a regional level, Asia, especially China and India, continued to outperform most of the other global markets, to the benefit of Lenovo and Dell.

In the United States, sales recovered somewhat, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa remained an ongoing concern due to substantial consumer inventory build-up, Canalys said.

Following table shows worldwide PC shipments and market share in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 2009.

    
    

Vendor

Q4 2010 shipments
(million)

% share

Q4 2009 shipments (million)

% share

Growth Q4'10/Q4'09

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

105.8

100.0%

88.8

100.0%

19.2%

 

    

 

HP

   18.7

17.7%

18.2

20.5%

2.9%

Acer

   13.6

12.8%

12.5

14.0%

8.8%

Apple

   11.5

10.8%

  3.4

3.8%

241.0%

Dell

   11.4

10.8%

10.3

11.6%

10.6%

Lenovo

    9.6

9.1%

  7.8

8.8%

22.3%

Others

   41.1

38.8%

  36.6

41.3%

12.1%