You may have heard that research firm IDC in May decided to class iPad and other portable devices as PCs, forecasting PC microprocessor units by processor architecture, including those based on x86 (Intel and Advanced Micro Devices) and those based on ARM. As a result of the change, Apple is set to overtake Hewlett-Packard and become the leading notebook vendor in 2012, reports DigiTimes. Here are the numbers:

Global shipments of tablet PCs are expected to top 60 million units in 2011 with shipments from Apple likely to total 40 million units for a 60 share. And now some market research firms have predicted global tablet shipments are to top 80 million units 2012 with iPads accounting for 60 million units. Additionally, Apple is also likely to ship 15 million MacBooks in 2012, bringing its combined shipments of notebooks and tablets to a total of 75 million units, accounting for 25-30 percent of the global notebook market, the sources estimated.

This is Apple… Meanwhile, HP shipped 40 million notebooks last year and should move an estimated 45-50 million units this year. Based on its performance in 2010 and 2011, HP will have trouble zooming past the 75 million combined tablet and notebooks PCs from Apple.  But what about HP’s TouchPad?

Of course, HP’s tablet PC sales are literally non-existent, but that will change now that the company rolled out the TouchPad tablet. Nevertheless, the fact that HP is targeting business customers (because Apple has pretty much locked the consumer segment) combined with the not so favorable reviews will hardly lead to  2012 TouchPad sales in the range of 10-20 million. At the iPad introduction in January 2011, Steve Jobs proclaimed Apple the number one mobile devices company in the world, based on the combined revenue from Mac notebooks, iPhones and iPods. “Apple is a mobile devices company. This is what we do,” he said.

HP is acknowledging Apple’s lead in the tablet space and insisting its tablet is not after the iPad. Speaking to The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple yesterday, HP’s vice president of worldwide developer relations Richard Kerris said this about Apple and the TouchPad:

We think the world of Apple and have the utmost respect for their products. It would be ignorant for us to say that we are going to take it [the market] away from Apple. We think there’s a better opportunity for us to go after the enterprise space and those consumers that use PCs. This market is in it’s infancy and there is plenty of room for both of us to grow.

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