Coming off its record-breaking quarter (Q4 2011), Apple’s flying mighty high. The Cupertino company was already the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world, and it’s just added “number one PC maker” to the trophy shelf.

That is, if you consider the iPad to be a PC.

Research firm Canalys reports that Apple moved 15 million iPads and five million Mac’s during the last three months, which represents roughly 17 percent of all quarterly PC sales worldwide. (It is important to note that Canalys also includes the Kindle Fire and Nook Color/Tablet in its global PC count, putting the total PC figure at approximately 120 million units.)

Semantics aside, the numbers are certainly staggering. Not so much because they underscore Apple’s tablet dominance (which, while often misrepresented, has never been in doubt), but because they more completely highlight the shifting consumer landscape away from traditional desktop and laptop computers. We’re still in the early stages, of course, but the iPad is clearly taking over.

And I, for one, am happy to be along for the ride.

[Image: ebooksforipad.net]