Apple Inc. may surpass Hewlett Packard Co. in PC sales next year according to an analyst at firm Canalys.

Canalys analyst Tim Couling this week forecast Apple will be the leading global PC vendor by 2012.

The firm factors in sales of the iPad tablet into PC sales, a sector in which HP fumbled with the discontinuation of the HP TouchPad in July.

According to Canalys, Apple holds a 15 percent PC market share.

Apple in Oct. said fourth quarter profit increased to $6.62 billion to increase from $4.31 billion, a 54 percent increase from one year prior.

The iPad, which dominates global tablet sales, has sold 30 million units worldwide.

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