Research firm Canalys this week said Apple Inc. lead global PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The firm, which included sales of tablets in the study, said Apple shipped 15 million iPads and five million Macs to hold a 17 percent share of the 120 million PCs shipped in the quarter.

HP Inc. ranked second, Lenovo ranked third, Dell No. 4, and Acer Inc. ranked No. 5 in global share.

Overall, the PC market including desktops, netbooks, notebooks, and pads grew 16 percent year-over-year.

The iPad, which currently dominates the tablet market at 30 million units sold, shipped 9.25 million units in the third quarter of 2011.

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