Apple is expected to overtake HP and become the leading global PC vendor by mid 2012, according to Reseach firm Canalys.
The iPad has already boosted Apple into second position in the worldwide PC market in quarter three of 2011, but Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling predicts that Apple won't overtake HP before the release of the next-generation iPad.
"Apple has seen its PC market share expand from nine per cent to 15 per cent in just four quarters," said Coulling. "HP and Apple will fight for top position in Q4, but Apple may have to wait for the release of iPad 3 before it passes HP."
Canalys has estimated that the total global PC shipments in 2011 will reach 415 million, up 15 per cent year-on-year, which the research firm says is thanks to increasing tablet sales.
Canalys predicts that total tablet shipments will reach 59 million by the end of the year, with quarter four volumes alone expected to pass 22 million.
Researchers recently found that HP's discontinued TouchPad sold better than Samsung's tablets and took the top spot among tablet vendors behind the iPad this year through October.