Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman expects Apple to overtake HP as the market leader in personal computers next year, when you figure in the iPad, she told “Le Figaro” (http://www.lefigaro.fr/), a French publication.

“It’s possible if you integrate the tablets,” she said. “We will try to be champion again in 2013. It will take time for the products that I have influence on to make it to the market.”

Last week Canalys (http://www.canalys.com) says it expects Apple to overtake HP to become the leading global PC vendor before the second half of 2012.

Tablet computers, and particularly the iPad, have radically changed the dynamics of the PC industry over the last year, already propelling Apple into second place in the worldwide PC market in Q3 2011, according to the research group. Canalys estimates full-year 2011 global PC shipments to reach 415 million, up 15% year-on-year, thanks predominantly to increasing pad sales.

Total tablet shipments are expected to reach 59 million units by the end of 2011, with Q4 volumes predicted to exceed 22 million. While the iPad will dominate in Q4, the recently announced Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are also anticipated to impact the US market.

“Apple has seen its PC market share expand from 9% to 15% in just four quarters, though iPad shipments in its core market – the United States — are likely to come under pressure in Q4 due to the launch of the Fire and Nook at extremely competitive price points,” says Canalys Analyst Tim 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.”