Apple shipped nearly 17.2 million mobile computers in the first quarter of 2012 (Q1’12), accounting for 118% year-over-year (Y/Y) shipment growth, according to preliminary results from the latest “NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report” (

Nearly 80% of Apple’s mobile computer shipments were iPads, which reached over 13.6 million units in the quarter, for 162% Y/Y growth. Total mobile computer shipments in Q1’12 were 76.2 million units, a seasonal drop of 15% compared to Q4’11. Shipments grew 30% Y/Y, with tablet computers growing 124% Y/Y and notebooks and mini-notes growing 12%.

From the regional perspective, the China market stood out with Q/Q shipment growth. The China region had sequential quarter shipment growth, achieving 13% for mobile compuers overall, 12% for notebook and mini-notebooks, and 16% for tablets, says Richard Shim, NPD DisplaySearch senior analyst.

Tablets fueled Apple’s mobile computer growth, enabling the company to reach 22.5% share in Q1’12, nearly twice HP’s share. The other brands in the top five relied on notebook computer shipments to establish their positions.

Apple continued its dominance of the tablet market, capturing 62.8% share in Q1’12. Barnes & Noble fell out of the top five. Amazon managed to hold on, but fell to #3 from #2. Samsung regained the #2 spot with its strongest results in EMEA. RIM and ASUS jumped back into the top five rankings after weak results in the previous quarter.