Tim Cook likes to refer to the iPad as “the poster child of the post PC world” and often brags about how it is leading the pack. According to new numbers out today from research firm NDP, if you account for the iPad (13.6 million units during the quarter), Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has maintained its position as the leader in mobile PC sales with 17.2 million units shipped during Q1. Apple beat out its nearest competitor HP by a solid 8.3 million units, which makes it the leader by far.

As for the area of key growth, NDP backs up Cook’s recent claims that China is a key emerging market. According to the study, China accounted overall for 13 percent of mobile PCs shipped during the quarter. In related China news, a new study reported Apple doubled its device market share in China during Q1. Of course, this is due in part to the launch of the iPhone 4S with the fighting bustling crowds. However, Samsung still leads in the country by roughly 2.8 million devices shipped.

Apple already announced its Q2 earnings, where the company revealed it shipped 11.8 million iPads. It will be interesting to see how Apple fairs against the competition during Q2. But, right now, it looks like the others do not have a shot. Apple also led in tablets shipped, with a 62 percent marketshare during Q1:

As you can see in the graph below, Apple had a commanding lead by 11 million units.

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