total client PC shipments chartAccording to a study released by Canalys today,  Apple fueled the 7% growth of the computer market in Q1, 2011. According to Canalys, pad shipments reached 6.4 million units worldwide. Apple accounted for 74% of these shipments, while other vendors struggled to bring competitive products to market. Canalys expects that next quarter will see a significant change in the market, with products appearing from Acer, Asus, LG and RIM.

This continued growth suggests that the iPad and other pad devices are here to stay. They seem to be moving past devices that are purely for games and entertainment and into true computing platforms used in business as well.  In research WAV Group has in the field at the moment, we’re learning that iPads are taking off in real estate as much because they are “smartphones that are easy to read” as they are small computing devices. Those of us that can’t read smartphones without our glasses or large type options are gravitating to the larger form factor of a pad device.

Those in the real estate industry that are serious about attracting consumers through mobile devices really need to pay close attention to this growth.  As evidenced this week by the launch of the iPad application, those with consumer-facing websites need to get serious about meeting the needs of this quickly growing segement of the mobile population. told us that they receive as much as 20% of all of their weekend traffic through their mobile applications now.  If you are trying to attract highly qualified, self-selecting buyers, mobile is an absolute requirement now.