Apple is the third-biggest notebook vendor... if you count the iPad

— 6:00 AM on August 3, 2010

Should slate devices be counted as notebooks in market share calculations? The debate might have to wait until slates are more ubiquitous, but as Fortune reports, an analyst for Deutsche Bank went ahead and tried it anyway. He discovered something interesting: counting iPads, Apple had the third-biggest share of notebook shipments in the world... right behind HP and Acer.

Oh, sure, the iPad lacks a real keyboard and has more in common with a giant iPod touch than a laptop. But Apple prices the device right in consumer ultraportable territory at $499; and functionality-wise, the iPad isn't such a huge departure from the tiny, Linux-powered netbooks of yesteryear. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that the same Deutsche Bank analyst says the iPad has started cannibalizing proper notebook sales:

"Our retail checks suggest this share shift continues in July," he writes, "where the iPad is directly cannibalizing demand for other vendors' NB products. Remarkably, Apple's traditional MacBook business posted accelerated unit growth on a Y/Y basis in 2Q despite the launch of the iPad while every other Top 5 vendor slowed."

I'll be interested in seeing some market share data after the dust settles and all the big players—HP, Acer, Dell, and Lenovo—have comparable slates out in stores.

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