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Apple ready to overtake HP in PCs

BestBuy DoorbustersIt's Black Friday here in the US, a day when retail outlets prod consumers out of bed with "doorbuster" prices that launch with a handful of rock-bottom-priced electronics. Silly things like $50 tablets jostle with $79 HDTVs and $329 HP 17-inch Pavillion laptops at Best Buy.

But Apple's going to be offering its gear at retail stores pretty much at list prices. The vendor insists its retailers don't do much of the come-ons for Black Friday, where 10 or so units at each store get sold starting at midnight. (Tickets for the BestBuy midnight entry were passed out last night). The retailers like it, but it can't do much for the vendor's sales at such small quantities.  A report just released by analyst Canalys shows that Apple is poised to take over HP's position in PC sales soon, if not in the current quarter. That's the No. 1 position. HP's got no tablet to sell, while the iPad 3 is expected next spring.

Canalys reports the overall PC market is growing by 18 percent this year. The growth has come at HP's expense, considering how fast Apple is overtaking the vendor. HP doesn't need to be No. 1 any more than Apple ever did. But it needs profitability out of its PC business, something Apple hasn't struggled to attain in the last decade.