2012 Tablet sales
 
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Apple, Samsung Led Tablet Market in Q4-2012

Apple and Samsung Electronics led the tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2012, but new entrant Microsoft did not make it to the top five with its Surface tablet.

The market share of Apple also continued to drop in the quarter, IDC said on Thursday.

Tablet shipments worldwide reached a record total of 52.5 million units in the fourth quarter, up 75.3 percent from close to 30 million units in the same quarter in the previous year. Spending on the devices got a boost from lower average selling prices, new product offerings, and increased holiday spending, IDC said.

The growth in the tablet market is in sharp contrast to the PC market which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in over five years, the research firm added. Tablets and mobile devices are expected to have cut into sales of PCs, according to analysts.

Apple shipped close to 23 million units in the quarter, helped by the launch of the iPad mini and the fourth generation full-size iPad. The company's shipments were up 48 percent over the same quarter last year, but because of competition, its market share declined for a second quarter in a row to 43.6 percent.

Competitor Samsung saw 263 percent year-on-year growth, shipping nearly 8 million Android and Windows 8 tablets during the quarter to get about 15 percent share of the market.

Apple and Samsung are involved in patent infringement disputes in the U.S. and other countries, aimed at blocking sales of each other's products.

Amazon.com, ranked number three, shipped over 6 million tablets during the quarter, increasing its share to 11.5 percent from 8.3 percent in the previous quarter, after a year-on-year growth of 26.8 percent.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble shipped close to 1 million units for a share of 1.9 percent, after a year-over-year decline of -27.7 percent.

Number four Asus saw its share slip to 5.8 percent despite continued strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet and an year-over-year increase in shipments of 402.5 percent, IDC said.

Microsoft did not make it to the top five during the quarter with its Surface with Windows RT tablet, with shipments close to 900,000 units into the channel. The company needs "to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices", said Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC, in a statement. Consumers may in the long run find it justified to pay a premium for high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems, but until then average selling prices of Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive volumes, he added.

Microsoft will ship the Surface with Windows 8 Pro tablet with an Intel Core i5 processor on Feb. 9, with prices starting at US$899. Unlike the Surface with Windows RT, which has an operating system designed for an ARM processor, the new tablet is designed for x86 processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

IDC device maker ranking shows Apple value, Samsung volume

 

IDC report shows personal computing market shifting to smartphones and tablets, away from PCs. iPad 4 and iPad Mini. Personal computing devices include tablets, as IDC's Worldwide Smart Connected Device Market ranking shows. In the brave new world of connected personal computing devices, Hewlett-Packard is a distant No. 4, with Samsung and Apple leading the way.

Think of IDC's "Worldwide Smart Connected Device Market" report as the 21st century equivalent of PC maker rankings.

Personal computing today includes tablets and smartphones, not just the laptop in your father's home office.

That global smart-connected device market grew 27.1 percent year-over-year in the third quarter to a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion, IDC said today in a research note.

"HP, which is virtually non-existent in the mobile space, has dropped its share from 7.4% in 3Q11 to 4.6% in 3Q12 with shipments declining -20.5% during that time," said IDC.

That's telling because HP still leans heavily on traditional PCs, while Apple and Samsung have shifted their product emphasis to smartphones and tablets.

And while Samsung leads in shipments (see chart below), Apple leads in value.

"The fact that Apple's [average selling price] is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells," Ryan Reith, an IDC analyst, said in a statement.

Translation: Apple's products are pricey but consumers buy them anyway.

And what does the future hold? In 2011, PCs -- a combination of desktop and laptops -- accounted for 39.1 percent of the smart connected device market. By 2016 it is expected to drop to 19.9 percent, IDC said.

Smartphones will be the "preferred product category" with share growing from 53.1 percent in 2011 to 66.7 percent in 2016, while tablet share grows from 7.7 percent in 2011 to 13.4 percent in 2016.
 

Gartner: worldwide tablet sales by OS. 2010-2016

 

Android and Apple tablets will continue to outnumber Windows tablets for at least the next several years, according to Gartner.

Tablet sales to stay sizzling, IDC says

Demand for tablets is accelerating, the research firm says, as the market shifts toward smaller screen sizes and lower prices. As if we didn't already know that the tablet market is the hottest thing this side of a pizza oven, IDC today raised its forecast for the tablet market for 2012 and beyond.

The fuel for the fired-up forecast? Greater variety among tablet choices as new, and often cheaper, devices crowd onto store shelves.

"Tablets continue to captivate consumers, and as the market shifts toward smaller, more mobile screen sizes and lower price points, we expect demand to accelerate in the fourth quarter and beyond," Tom Mainelli, IDC's research director for tablets, said in a statement.

IDC now predicts that for 2012, tablet shipments worldwide will hit 122.3 million, up a notch from its earlier forecast of 117.1 million units. Apparently, things are looking bright for the seasonal consumer spending spree.

"Android tablets are gaining traction in the market thanks to solid products from Google, Amazon, Samsung, and others," Mainelli said. "And Apple's November iPad Mini launch, along with its surprise refresh of the full-sized iPad, positions the company well for a strong holiday season."

Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble crowed last week about early holiday activity, with each claiming, respectively, a doubling of sales of Kindle and Nook devices over the Black Friday weekend. The latest iPads, meanwhile, got off to a hot start earlier a few weeks earlier.

But the iPad is suffering just a bit at the hands of the various Android offerings. In its report today, IDC said that it now expects Android's worldwide tablet share for 2012 to reach 42.7 percent, up from 39.8 percent in 2011, as Apple's tablet OS share slips to 53.8 percent in 2012, compared with 56.3 percent in 2011.

Looking farther ahead, IDC also raised its 2013 forecast for worldwide tablet shipments to 172.4 million units and said that by 2016, shipments should reach 282.7 million units. And by that time, IDC predicts, both Apple and Android will see slippage in their hold on the overall tablet market, to 49.7 percent for Apple's iOS and 39.7 percent for Android.

If that downward shift comes to pass, blame Microsoft. IDC says that it foresees Windows 8 and Window RT tablets getting a grip on the market, growing from a combined 2.9 percent predicted for this year to 10.3 percent in 2016.

iPad holds 71 percent of China's tablet market

Apple is the top choice among almost three-quarters of Chinese tablet buyers, according to Analysys International. The iPad may be shedding market share globally but it's staying strong in China.

For Q3-2012, Apple grabbed 71.4 percent of the Chinese tablet market. That was down a percentage point from the second quarter, but still far ahead of Lenovo with a 10.5 percent share, Reuters said, citing a report from research firm Analysys International.

In third place among tablet makers was Chinese company Ereneben with a 3.6 percent cut of the market, trailed closely by Samsung with a 3.5 percent share.

Overall, China's tablet market climbed 62.5 percent last quarter over the same quarter in 2011. For the quarter, 2.6 million tablets were sold in China, up from 1.6 million a year ago.

The iPad may rule the roost in China, but its global dominance continues to weaken.

The iPad lineup captured just 55 percent of worldwide tablet shipments last quarter, according to a report out yesterday from ABI Research. That proved to be a 14 percent drop in the iPad's share from the second quarter and its lowest level since the original iPad debuted in early 2010.

A recent report from IDC pegged the iPad's global tablet share even lower at 50.4 percent. Samsung took second place with 18.4 percent, followed by Amazon with 9 percent and Asus (which makes Google's Nexus 7 tablet) with 8.6 percent.

Apple has been challenged by an increasing onslaught of rival tablets from the likes of Samsung, Amazon, Asus, and other Android vendors.

The Android OS now accounts for more than 44 percent of all tablets shipped, according to ABI's data. And that number will continue to rise, say analysts.

Android will finally knock the iPad off its pedestal in 2013, projects Sameer Singh, an analyst with mergers and acquisitions consulting group Finvista Advisors. Singh expects the market share held by Android tablets to surpass that of the iPad in the first half of 2013.

Of course, Apple will continue to reign as the top tablet manufacturer, way ahead of Samsung, Amazon, and the others. But low-cost devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Google Nexus 7 are clearly taking some bite out of Apple's once dominant domain.

US, Q4-2012: Tablet shipments to top laptops.

Tablet shipments in North America are on track in the fourth quarter to exceed laptops for the first time.

The $199 Nexus 7 has been a catalyst in driving tablet shipments to surpass laptops this quarter, says NPD DisplaySearch. Tablet shipments will eclipse laptops for the first time in North America, driven by price and variety, says NPD DisplaySearch.

Popular $199 models and a wider variety of sizes will propel fourth-quarter tablet shipments to 21.5 million units, "far exceeding" the 14.6 million laptops that are expected to ship in the same period, according to a forecast today by DisplaySearch's Richard Shim.

And starting in 2013 in North America, tablet shipments are expected to exceed notebook shipments on an annual basis for the first time; 80 million tablets versus 63.8 million notebooks, he said.

"This Black Friday and the shopping season to follow will be the fuel to stoke the demand," Shim wrote. "The $199 price point has increasingly become the target to match or beat with the introductions of Google's $199 Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire 7."

The composition of the tablet market has changed from the market-defining 9.7-inch iPad in 2010 to 7-inch, 7.9-inch, 8.9-inch, 10.1-inch, and 10.6-inch tablet sizes this year, spanning iOS, Android, and Windows 8 operating systems, according to Shim.

Apple launched the 7.9-inch iPad Mini, which starts at $329, earlier this month at the same time as the latest version of the iPad. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has estimated that the bulk of first-weekend iPad sales -- 2 million to 2.5 million out of a total 3 million -- were for the smaller tablet.

In a blog post last month, Shim said of the iPad Mini: "The new low price point is expected to appeal to a wider audience and drive up demand."

Meanwhile, the Nexus 7 is selling at a clip of about one million per month, according to a recent comment from Asus, who manufacturers the tablet.

On a worldwide basis, tablet shipments aren't expected to out-ship notebooks until 2015, when 275.9 million tablets are projected to ship, as compared to 270 million notebooks.

Android gains in tablets, Apple slows in third quarter, IDC says

Apple's tablet market share took a hit as consumers "sat out" the third quarter in anticipation of the iPad Mini, analyst firm IDC said. Android tablets made gains as a result.

After a strong second quarter, Apple's unit shipment growth slowed in both consumer and commercial (including education) markets, according to an IDC report published Monday.

"We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad Mini," said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli in a statement.

Apple's share sank from 65.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 50.4 percent in the third quarter. In the same period last year, Apple's market share was 59.7 percent.
 


Units in millions. (Credit: IDC)
The other four vendors ranked in the top five all gained share during the quarter. Samsung led the way, buoyed by its Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1, shipping 5.1 million tablets worldwide in the third quarter, up 115 percent from the second quarter of this year. And that's an increase of 325 percent from the third quarter of 2011, when it shipped 1.2 million tablets.

Amazon also made noticeable gains. Amazon, which announced new tablets late in the quarter, saw its worldwide market share from jump from 4.8 percent in the second quarter to 9.0 percent in the third quarter.

Despite all these gains by Apple rivals, it could come roaring back in the fourth quarter. "Now that the new Mini and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter," IDC said.

And what about Windows 8 and RT tablets that were just announced and don't show up in market share numbers yet? "Price points are critical in tablets, and Microsoft and its partners will have a tough time winning a share of consumer wallet with price points starting at $500," IDC said.

The worldwide tablet market grew 49.5 percent year over year in the third quarter and 6.7 percent over the second quarter of 2012.

Almost a quarter of U.S. adults own a tablet, survey finds

Pew Research Center finds 22 percent of U.S. adults polled own a tablet, while another 3 percent regularly use someone else's. Low-cost tablets have helped the overall market grow and the iPad's dominance shrink.

Cheaper tablets propelled the growth of the tablet market in the last year, loosening Apple's grip as the king of the tablet world, according to a report released today from the Pew Research Center.

The percentage has been growing since last year and Pew attributes the popularity to companies releasing cheaper tablets in late 2011.

About 68 percent of tablet owners got their tablet in the last year, with 32 percent in 2012 alone.

The lower-cost tablets seem to have taken a chunk out of Apple's market share. Now, it only owns half the market as oppose to near domination a year ago.

Pew said 52 percent of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81 percent last year. The rest of market is mostly made up of Android devices with Amazon's Kindle Fire trailing the iPad at 21 percent, followed by the Samsung Galaxy at 8 percent.

The survey, conducted June 29 through August 8 among a sample of 9,513 adults who were 18 years of age or older, was done before the introduction of Google's Nexus 7 or Amazon's Kindle Fire HD. Both devices, which also have lower price tags than the iPad, had promising initial reviews and could cut into Apple's future profits as well.

Android is rapidly changing the tablet market, as it has done with smartphones. Of the 44 percent of adults who said they have a smartphone, 46 percent have an Android phone, 38 percent, have an iPhone and 10 percent have a Blackberry, according to Pew.
 

Tablet shipments now expected to hit 117 million in 2012

The worldwide forecast for 2012 has been upped by research firm IDC to 117 million from 107 million previously.

New products and growing consumer demand could trigger a surge in global tablet shipments to 117 million for 2012, according to IDC.

The new forecast is an increase over IDC's previous prediction, which was looking for tablet shipments of 107 million for the year. Peering over the horizon, the research firm now expects shipments to reach 166 million in 2013, up from its prior estimate of 142 million. And by 2016, shipments could soar as high as 261 million.

"Despite ongoing economic concerns in most regions of the world, consumers continue to buy tablets in record numbers, and we expect particularly strong demand in the fourth quarter," Tom Mainelli, research director for IDC's Mobile Connected Devices, said in a statement.

Apple's iPad is still the tablet leader and will retain its top spot for the rest of the year, according to IDC. But new Android and Windows tablets will expand the market by giving consumers more choices, especially during the holiday shopping season.

What does IDC's crystal ball see for Windows tablets?

Windows 7 tablets shippping today and Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets shipping in the final quarter will capture around 4 percent of the market for 2012. By 2016, these devices could own as much as 11 percent of the market.

"Tablets running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 and RT operating systems, including the company's own Surface tablets, will add some momentum," IDC research analyst Jennifer Song said in a statement. "However, we expect shipments to remain low in the fourth quarter as high prices and consumer confusion around these devices will limit their appeal. Also, in the second half of the year Android should benefit from the success of the Nexus 7 and Amazon's launch of new Kindle Fires."

Apple's lead will slip, but only slightly, from 60 percent of the market this year to 58 percent by 2016. Android's share will also decline, IDC said, from 35 pecent this year to 30.5 percent in another four years.

Not mentioned by IDC, Apple may extend its dominance of the tablet market if reports of an iPad mini prove true.

Rumored to launch next month, the smaller iPad could challenge Google's Nexus 7, Amazon's Kindle Fire, and other 7-inch tablets.

And on the Windows front, Microsoft's upcoming Surface device has upset at least a couple of Windows 8 tablet vendors, who see it as unwanted competition. Last month, Acer chairman JT Wang urged Microsoft not to price Surface too low. And Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing labeled Microsoft just another competitor, but one he believes his company can beat on hardware.

Apple dominates tablet market in Q2-2012 with 70 percent share

The next-place company, Samsung, was only able to muster a 9.2 percent share during the period, according to iSuppli. Apple's iPad is proving extremely difficult to catch.

According to data released today by research firm IHS iSuppli:

  1. Apple nabbed 69.6 percent of the tablet market in the second quarter on 17 million shipments.
  2. Samsung, its arch-nemesis, came in second place with 9.2 percent share on 2.3 million tablet shipments
  3. Amazon took the third spot with 4.2 percent
  4. Asus took fourth spot with 2.8 percent share.

"Apple is making all the right moves to rebuild its dominant position in the tablet space," Rhoda Alexander, director for tablet and monitor research for IHS said today in a statement. "The company is pushing visual performance boundaries with the new iPad, while providing value customers with a lower-priced alternative, the iPad 2. With the expected entrance of the 7-inch version of the iPad in September, Apple is sending a clear message that it plans to dominate this market over the long term."

iSuppli's figures don't include the latest major tablet launch, Google's Nexus 7. After its recent launch, the Nexus 7 took off in a big way. The 16GB option, which costs just $249, quickly sold out on Google's Play Store. The device is now back in stock.

Despite its early success, Alexander doesn't necessarily believe that the Nexus 7 could hurt the iPad. He also indicated in a statement today that Microsoft's Surface tablet, which is slated to hit store shelves this fall, is another device that, while promising, won't be able to keep up.

"Apple's major media tablet rivals, Google and Microsoft, hope to challenge Apple in the second half of the year, but will be facing formidable headwinds with no sign that the market leader is backing off of its aggressive strategy in the market," Alexander says.

IHS iSuppli isn't alone in thinking that the iPad will continue to dominate the tablet space. Back in June, in fact, research firm IDC revealed that it believes Apple will own 62.5 percent of the tablet market by the end of this year, up from 58.2 percent last year.

"The addition of the Retina Display and 4G capabilities to the third-generation products clearly enticed many current owners to upgrade," Tom Mainelli, an IDC analyst, said in June. "And Apple's decision to keep two iPad 2s in the market at lower prices--moving the entry-level price down to $399--seems to be paying off as well."

Overall, the tablet market had a strong second quarter, with 24.4 million units shipping worldwide during the period. In the first quarter of 2012, 20.3 million tablets shipped worldwide.

France: ventes de tablettes en croissance de 140%

Malgré la crise, les consommateurs continuent de s’équiper en produits high-tech, mais avec moins d’intensité.

Selon la dernière étude de GfK Consumer Choices, il devrait se vendre auprès du grand public en France 5,75 millions de PC (-12% par rapport à 2011) et 3,4 millions de tablettes, véritable relais de croissance avec une progression de 140% par rapport à 2011.

Sur le front des ordinateurs, le prix moyen d’un PC devrait augmenter en 2012 de 7%, passant de 508 à 548 euros pièce.

« Dans ces conditions, les fabricants comme les enseignes de distribution, habitués aux baisses de prix, ont eu plus de mal à proposer des offres pertinentes », souligne François Klipfel, directeur général adjoint de GfK Consumer Choices.

Concernant le marché des tablettes, celui-ci est en pleine éclosion en France. Selon François Klipfel, ce succès s’explique car l’ardoise numérique, comme l’iPad ou la Samsung Galaxy Tab « […] propose une navigation simplifiée, confortable et une ouverture vers de nouveaux usages. Ce sont des arguments que le consommateur comprend facilement. Par ailleurs, la tablette est devenue le compagnon idéal du PC au sein du foyer. Elle vient donc booster la dynamique de multi-équipement qui est aujourd’hui la clé de la croissance « .

Le bon accueil réservé aux tablettes s’explique aussi par son coût, moins important qu’un PC pour un usage qui s’y apparente : le prix moyen attendu est de 365 euros, soit une baisse de 13% par rapport à 2011.

Mais le marché des tablettes numériques s’apprête-t-il celui des ordinateurs ? Pas forcément, dans la mesure où chacune de ces machines trouve sa place au sein du foyer. Le PC reste l’équipement premier, tandis que la tablette fait figure de  d’équipement complémentaire.

Pour GfK, il faut aussi voir plus loin et mettre en avant le futur des machines hybrides. « La question pour le marché n’est plus de savoir si les Tablettes cannibalisent le PC mais quelles sont les innovations technologiques susceptibles de convaincre un consommateur exigeant », note Anselme Laubier, Chef de Groupe IT chez GfK Consumer Choices.

« Dans ce cadre, l’arrivée très prochaine de machines hybrides comme la démocratisation d’outils de création sur les tablettes rend la frontière entre Tablettes et PC de plus en plus poreuse. Par ailleurs, l’innovation technologique, plus forte que jamais, concrétise dans les foyers des concepts qui, il y a peu, relevaient de la science-fiction : tablettes tactiles, contrôle à la voix, réalité augmentée entrent chaque jour un peu plus dans le quotidien des consommateurs. Dans un tel contexte, le marché donne raison à ceux qui dépassent les clivages pour innover et convaincre », ajoute-t-il.

People love their tablets, report says

A new study shows that users are more satisfied with their tablets than their smartphones, and among tablets the iPad is king.


 
ComScore infographic: Today's U.S. Tablet Owner Revealed. (Credit: ComScore)

ComScore data on user satisfaction with tablets vs. smartphone.

(Credit: ComScore)
Compared to smartphones, people are more satisfied with their tablets -- and of all tablets, they especially love the iPad, according to a new report by ComScore.

"New TabLens data showed that tablet owners were highly satisfied with their respective devices, with the average overall satisfaction rating reaching 8.6 on a 10-point scale," the ComScore report says. "In comparison, smartphone owners rated overall satisfaction with their device an 8.1."

Surveying 6,000 U.S. tablet owners over three months, the research company found out that iPad owners have the "highest level of satisfaction," closely followed by Kindle Fire owners. Android tablet (excluding the Kindle Fire) users marked the lowest levels of satisfaction but still scored strong with their tallies coming in higher than smartphone users.

Other interesting factoids out of ComScore's report are that iPad owners more often tend to be male, younger, and richer, while Kindle Fire users skew toward a female audience that is less wealthy. "Both Android and Kindle Fire users saw household income below that of iPad owners, aligning more closely with household income reported by smartphone owners," the report says.
The iPad's high satisfaction ratings could be why another report by ChangeWave Research found in June that Apple's tablet is favored among the vast majority of would-be tablet buyers with it being on the wish list of 73 percent of people who planned to buy a tablet in the near future.

Apple nabs 68 percent of tablet market in second quarter of 2012

A collection of Android-based devices was able to capture only 29.3 percent of the market, according to new data from Strategy Analytics.

Apple's iPad has watched its market share in the worldwide tablet space grow over the last year (from 62% to 68%), according to new data from research firm Strategy Analytics.

During the second quarter of 2012, 25 million tablets were shipped worldwide. Out of that, Apple accounted for 17 million units, helping it secure 68.3 percent of the marketplace. Android-based devices combined for 7.3 million shipments and 29.3 percent market ownership, according to Strategy Analytics.

"Despite high expectations for companies like Amazon, Samsung, Acer, and Asus, the Android community has yet to make a serious dent in Apple's dominance of the tablet market," Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said today in a statement. "Unspectacular hardware designs, limited uptake of cellular models, and a modest number of tablet-optimized services have been among some of the main reasons for Android's mixed performance so far."

Still, Android has held steady. During the second quarter of 2011, devices running the platform were also able to grab 29.3 percent of the tablet market. Apple, meanwhile, owned 62 percent of the tablet market last year.

It should be interesting to see how these figures will change in the third quarter. Google's Nexus 7 is selling extremely well, and its 16GB model has already sold out. Google has not yet said when it expects to have more 16GB Nexus 7s in stock.

Still, it'll be extremely difficult for the Nexus 7 to match Apple's iPad. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company announced yesterday that it sold 17 million iPads during the second quarter, setting a new record and jumping 84 percent over sales during the same period last year.

Tablet Shipments to Surpass Notebook Shipments in 2016

 

Tablet PCs, such as Apple’s iPad, are expected to be the growth driver for the mobile PC market over the next few years. Tablet shipments will surpass notebook shipments in 2016, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report. Overall mobile PC shipments will grow from 347M units in 2012 to over 809M units by 2017.

While notebook PC shipments are expected to increase from 208M units in 2012 to 393M units by 2017, tablet PC shipments are expected to grow from 121M units to 416M units in this period, for a compound annual growth rate of 28%. A key driver for tablet PC growth is adoption in mature markets (including North America, Japan and Western Europe), which will account for 66% of shipments in 2012 and remain in the 60% range throughout the forecast period. Tablet PC shipments into mature markets will grow from 80M units in 2012 to 254M units by 2017.

Figure 1: Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast (000s)

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report

Consumer preference for mobile computing devices is shifting from notebook to tablet PCs, particularly in mature markets,” said Richard Shim, senior analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. “While the lines between tablet and notebook PCs are blurring, we expect mature markets to be the primary regions for tablet PC adoption. New entrants are tending to launch their initial products in mature markets. Services and infrastructure needed to create compelling new usage models are often better established in mature markets.”

Figure 2: Emerging and Mature Market Tablet Shipments (000s)

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report

Building upon convenience-oriented features including instant-on capability, long battery life and extreme portability, tablet PCs are expected to evolve in form factor and performance, making them a compelling alternative to notebook PCs. Tablet PCs are expected to incorporate multi-core processors, increasingly stable operating systems, growing app libraries and higher resolution displays.

In addition, notebook PCs are also evolving to meet the challenge from tablet PCs. Thinner form factors, higher resolution displays and touch functionality features are expected to increase. The notebook PC market will remain the largest part of the mobile PC market during the forecast period, accounting for 60% of mobile PC shipments in 2012, declining to 49% by 2017.

iPad: progression dans l'entreprise

Depuis la sortie du Nouvel iPad en mars dernier, le taux d’adoption des tablettes d’Apple en entreprise progresse, selon Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). Ce cabinet d’études américain a réalisé une étude portant sur un millier de consommateurs qui ont acquis un iPad entre décembre 2011 et avril 2012.

La navigation Internet arrive au sommet du palmarès des usages. 30 à 40% des utilisateurs consultent régulièrement des vidéos, des photos et de la musique. Mais les applications professionnelles gagnent irrésistiblement du terrain (on a pu le constater avec le déploiement de centaines d’iPad chez Econocom).

La plus grosse progression sur les derniers mois est à mettre à leur actif. Elles se placent désormais juste derrière le divertissement et prennent notamment le pas sur les réseaux sociaux.

Au dernier pointage, 13% des détenteurs d’un iPad s’en serviraient en effet pour le travail. On tutoie même les 21% chez les possesseurs d’un Nouvel iPad.

Illustration du fameux BYOD (« Bring Your Own Device ») ? Une tendance qui laisse à l’employé la liberté d’acquérir son propre périphérique mobile (PC portable, smartphone ou tablette) et à l’utiliser dans le cadre de son travail. Voire de la « consumérisation de l’ IT »…

Selon CIRP, l’écran Retina est apprécié dans le cadre des usages business.

« Nous sommes à la troisième génération iPad. Il devient évident que les utilisateurs veulent que la tablette devienne un vrai outil de travail et ne reste pas seulement un jouet. Surtout avec un écran amélioré et des débits Internet mobile plus importants », a déclaré Michael Levin, en qualité de partner chez CIRP, à  AllThingsD.

Alliée à la disponibilité d’un modèle doté d’une grande capacité de stockage (64 Go) et à l’implémentation optionnelle d’un modem 4G, la solidité de l’écosystème iOS a vraisemblablement su séduire les professionnels.

Ces derniers sont de plus en plus nombreux à lui associer un routeur Wi-Fi AirPort, voire un disque dur externe Time Capsule.

« Il est encore trop tôt pour Apple de crier victoire dans la sphère de l’entreprise. »

« Il apparait qu’Apple fait des efforts pour entrer dans le segment des affaires et que le travail va finir par porter ses fruits. Mais, de l’autre côté, les usages pros représentent une partie minime de tous les usages (divertissement, jeux). »

Témoin les pilotes conduits dans 86% des sociétés classés au Fortune 500, et qui ont bien souvent abouti à un déploiement généralisé, comme l’explique AllThingsD.

Au dernier pointage en avril 2012, 94% des entreprises du classement Fortune 500 et 70% du panel Global 500 étaient en train de déployer l’iPad ou de le tester.

Le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que l’on regarde la tablette d’Apple avec un certain intérêt.

Utilisation de l'iPad. Les applications "business" arrivent en troisième position derrière l'Internet et les divertissements pour le nouvel iPad.

 

Tablets, smartphones still hammering PC market

Tablets and smartphones -- and users' infatuation with them -- continue to pummel the PC market.

Worldwide PC shipments were flat in Q2-2012 just like they were for the previous six quarters before that, according to a report out Wednesday from the research firm Gartner.

PC shipments globally totaled 87.5 million units in the second quarter of 2012. That is a decline of 0.1 percent from the second quarter of the previous year.

"In the second quarter of 2012, the PC market suffered through its seventh consecutive quarter of flat to single-digit growth," Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a written statement. "Uncertainties in the economy in various regions, as well as consumer's low interest in PC purchases, were some of the key influencers of slow PC shipment growth."

Kitagawa noted that despite analysts' and PC makers' high expectations for ultrabooks, which are thin and light laptops with long battery life, not enough were sold in the second quarter of this year to have an impact on the market.

However, since ultrabooks are extremely new to the market -- with the Intel Ivy Bridge-based ultrabooks just released toward the end of Q2 -- their effect may not be seen till later in the year.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he expects tablets and smartphones to continue to punish the PC industry. "This is a generational change," he said. "This isn't a temporary phenomenon. PCs are great for information creation, where tablets and smartphones are better for information consumption and we're mainly consumers, not creators."

And that, according to Kerravala, should be making PC makers quake in their boots.

HP, the world's top PC maker, actually was able to hold onto its top spot in the second quarter despite a global shipment decline of 12.1 percent. Gartner is putting the blame for HP's bad numbers on the company's re-organization and pricing pressure from second-place Lenovo.

China-based Lenovo, which last month talked up plans to surpass HP, is looking at much rosier numbers.

Gartner said Lenovo continued in the last quarter to show shipment growth that exceeded the worldwide average, significantly narrowing the market share gap with HP. Lenovo now has 14.7 percent of the market, compared to HP's 14.9 percent.

"Lenovo's aggressive expansion damaged its competitor's performance, namely HP and Dell, by taking shares from them," Gartner reported.

Acer is in third place in the worldwide market with 11 percent. Dell is closely behind Acer with 10.7 percent of the market and ASUS wraps up the fifth position with 7 percent.

U.S. tablet usage hits 'critical mass,' ComScore reports

Nearly one in four smartphone owners also make use of tablet computers, according to data from the market researcher.

In just the two years since the release of Apple's iPad, the U.S. tablet market has reached a "critical mass," with nearly one in four smartphone owners also using a tablet in the three-month period ending in April, according to data released by market researcher ComScore.

Tablet use among smartphone owners has more than doubled in the past year, going from 9.7 percent last year to 23.6 percent this year, ComScore found. By comparison, only 10.4 percent of feature phone owners also use a tablet, "suggesting that smartphone ownership is highly predictive of tablet adoption in the current market," comScore said.

"Tablets are one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are poised to fundamentally disrupt the way people engage with the digital world both on-the-go and perhaps most notably, in the home," Mark Donovan, ComScore's senior vice president of mobile, said in a statement announcing the findings. "It's not surprising to see that once consumers get their hands on their first tablet, they are using them for any number of media habits including TV viewing."

Noting that "larger screen sizes [are] making tablets more conducive to video consumption than their smaller-screen cousins," researchers found that tablet users were nearly three times more likely to watch video on their devices compared with smartphone owners, with 9.5 percent of tablet users viewing video content on their device almost daily, the study found.

In terms of demographics, tablet users tend to be older, with the majority of users falling in the 25-to-54 age groups, and wealthier, with the majority of users earning $75,000 a year or more.

iPad returns to tablet dominance, reports iSuppli

After a brief dip in late 2011, the Apple iPad has firmly reasserted its position as the dominant player in the tablet market.

According to the latest figures released today from market intelligence firm iSuppli, the iPad is projected to account for 61 percent of all tablets sold this year, up from 55.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

iSuppli says that the iPad's brief dip was largely caused by increased sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire, which helped Android-based tablets surge to a 41.1 percent market share late last year. With the hype surrounding the Kindle Fire dying down amid the release of the new iPad earlier this year, however, Android tablets are expected to see their total market share shrink to 38.4 percent in 2012. Even so, this is a long-run improvement for Android tablets, which accounted for just 31.1 percent of tablets sold in the third quarter of 2011.

Rhoda Alexander, the director for monitors and tablets research at IHS, says that the reasons for the iPad's success are pretty obvious: It's the most attractive and user-friendly tablet on the market today.

"The combination of a good-looking device, well-designed applications, video, books, and music has provided consumers with an easy-to-use product," she says. "It's proving to be a challenge for the company's competitors to replicate."

And even when Android tablets were at their peak late last year, they couldn't hold a candle to iPad sales. iSuppli's previous report released in February found that Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter of 2011, more than triple the 3.9 million Kindle Fires shipped by Amazon. The Kindle Fire's 14 percent market share in the fourth quarter of 2011 made it the only Android tablet to crack even a 10 percent market share as offerings from Samsung, Asus and Barnes & Noble were all stuck in the single digits.

Research firm Gartner last year predicted that Apple would hold the top position in the tablet market for the foreseeable future, although the company projected that its total share would fall to 45 percent by 2015. The iPad has also been making headway in the enterprise market, as a survey released last quarter by ChangeWave showed that iPads accounted for a whopping 84 percent of planned enterprise tablet purchases in the second quarter of 2012. No other major tablet manufacturer could crack 10 percent in the ChangeWave survey, as Samsung (8 percent of planned tablet purchases), Amazon (6 percent), and HP (4 percent) were all left in the dust comparatively.

 

 


iPad to once again dominate tablets this year

Following a fourth-quarter dip, Apple's share of the tablet market will hit 61 percent this year, around the same as last year, research firm IHS estimates.

Apple will continue to reign as king of the tablet market in 2012, according to an IHS report released today.

The iPad will grab a full 61 percent of worldwide tablet sales this year, IHS estimated. That would mark a rebound from last year's fourth quarter when the iPad's share dropped to 55.1 percent.

Apple lost some ground to Android during 2011's final quarter due to huge demand for Amazon's Kindle Fire. The retail giant's low-cost tablet helped Android win a 41.1 percent slice of the tablet market over the holidays, up from 31.1 percent in the third quarter.

But as Apple recaptures that lost market share, Android's share will drop to 38.4 percent this year, IHS has forecast. Despite attempts by competitors such as Amazon to pick up and retain a larger chunk of the market, Apple continues to hold the edge.

"The combination of a good-looking device, well-designed applications, video, books, and music has provided consumers with an easy-to-use product and an appealing use case," Rhoda Alexander, IHS director for monitors and tablets research, said in a statement. "Such an ecosystem took Apple years to put together, starting with the iPod plus iTunes Music Store more than nine years ago, and it's proving to be a challenge for the company's competitors to replicate it."

Rumors of an iPad mini have been floating around for a while. Apple, as usual, has been mum on the possibility of such a device. But IHS pointed to "supply-side sources" who claim that a 7.8-inch iPad will launch later this year, adding to Apple's lineup.

Traditional media tablets, such as the iPad, are running the show right now. However, IHS said it believes that the release of Windows 8 later this year will trigger new ultrabooks and hybrid devices that convert between a laptop and a tablet. These "PC tablets" will attract users who want the flexibility of a touch-screen tablet combined with the power of a PC.

But these new hybrid tablets won't cannibalize the media tablet market.

IHS predicts the industry will sell more than 197 million media tablets next year, compared with just 8 million PC tablets.

Tablet sales overall are expected to reach 126 million this year, an 85 percent jump from the 68.4 million units sold last year. Sales are poised to rise another 63 percent next year, culminating in 360 million units sold by 2016.

For Windows 8 tablets, a weak forecast

Don't look for tablets sporting Windows RT to have a big impact in the next year or two, says NPD DisplaySearch -- as it boosts its expectations for the tablet market overall.

 (Credit: NPD DisplaySearch)
Expect to see a lot of tablets milling about next year. Just don't expect to find Windows 8 on a lot of them.

Market researcher NPD DisplaySearch has upped its tablet forecast for 2013 to more than 180 million units, in a report released Thursday. That forecast, however, shows Windows 8 tablets having only a small impact through 2014.

DisplaySearch had previously pegged next year's tablet market at 168.9 million but now has revised that figure to 184.2 million.

And by 2017, the size of the market will jump to 424.9 million units, compared to 81.6 million units in 2011.

"There's a lot of display capacity that's going to become available from major suppliers," said Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch. "The television market is in a bit of a slump and notebooks aren't growing like they have in the past. The tablet is a high-growth market right now and there is going to be a lot more investment there."

Shim continued. "The folks in Cupertino (Apple) keep talking about how tablets will exceed notebook shipments. Well, we're starting to see that as well."

The forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs.

But those big numbers don't necessarily apply to Windows 8. At least, not in the next 24 months.

In 2013, the market for Windows 8 tablets, sporting Windows RT, will only be about 4 million, growing to 11.6 million in 2014. As of last month, the Microsoft operating system running on ARM chips was officially dubbed Windows RT, or Windows Runtime -- essentially, the Metro part of Windows 8.

Shim acknowledges that there's more uncertainty in the Windows tablet forecast because players and products have not been announced yet. "I'm being a little conservative for Windows 8," he said.

In 2013, DisplaySearch has Apple's iOS at about 134 million units. "Let's face it, [Windows RT] is fighting a pretty steep uphill battle against iOS," he said.

Nevertheless, iOS will eventually cede ground to others. Share will fall from 72.1 percent in 2012 to 50.9 percent in 2017, DisplaySearch said. And Android -- which is forecast at at 44 million in 2013 -- will jump from 22.5 percent to 40.5 percent over the same time period. Windows RT is forecast to have 7.5 percent of the market by 2017.

BYOD : iOS est quatre fois plus utilisé qu’Android en entreprise

La tendance Bring Your Own Device ou le recours des terminaux individuels pour des besoins d’entreprise semble être fortement favorable à Apple, selon Good Technology. Good Technology fournit aux entreprises des services de sécurisation et d’intégration des smartphones et tablettes de leurs employés sur leurs réseaux.

Sur le volume total des activations, « la moyenne de taille des déploiements des clients de Good Technologie a plus que doublé sur les 12 derniers mois« .

Une tendance de plus en plus prononcée.
Le fournisseur de solutions BtoB de mobilité est donc bien placée pour analyser la tendance du BYOD (« Bring your own device ») avec deux limites :

  • Primo, les terminaux BlackBerry sont par défaut gérés par des solutions RIM, auxquelles Good n’a pas accès.
  • Secundo, ceux tournant sous Windows Phone ont été récemment intégrés dans les statistiques Good Technology.

Par conséquent, la contribution de Microsoft n’est pas incluse dans les statistiques d’activations qui couvrent le premier trimestre 2012.

Les chiffres résument donc le face-à-face Apple / Android, les deux grands concurrents dans le domaine des OS mobiles.

Au premier trimestre 2012, 79,9% des appareils activés sur les réseaux des clients de Good étaient des iPhone ou des iPad.

« L’iPhone et l’iPad restent le choix majoritaire des utilisateurs finaux que ce soit pour un terminal issu de la tendance du BYOD comme pour les grand déploiements mis en place par les entreprises dans les marchés verticaux tels que les services financiers, commerciaux et professionnels, sciences de la vie et la santé », considère Good Technology.

L’écosystème Android prend le reliquat.

Sur les smartphones, Android représentait 26,1% des activations (le reste pour l’iPhone).

Sur les tablettes, la domination de la Pomme était plus flagrante : 97% des activations étaient des iPad.

L’iPhone 4S d’Apple bat un niveau record, affirmant sa place de numéro un des terminaux activés, avec un taux d’activation de 37% pour le premier trimestre (4 fois supérieur à ceux de tous les autres terminaux).

Les 10 appareils iOS ou Android les plus populaires en entreprise :

 

Survey: iPad extends enterprise dominance in Q1-2012

For Good Technology, Apple has become de facto standard, with iPad comprising over 97 percent of enterprise tablet activation in Q1-2012

Apple's dominance over Android in the corporate tablet market grew in the first quarter, according to a survey from mobile device management and wireless email vendor Good Technology. The iPad accounted for 97.3 percent of tablets activated by enterprise users in that time period, the research found.

Good continuously analyzes what devices are used among its thousands of corporate and government users. Most are based in the United States, but the data takes into account global activations too, according to a spokeswoman. Devices from Research in Motion were not part of the survey.

Apple's market share is up from 94.7 percent during the last three months of 2011. Consequently, Android's market share among enterprise tablet users dropped from just over 5 percent to 2.7 percent.

The three iPad models were the go-to choice for businesses and were also quite popular among users who are allowed to bring their own device to work, according to Good. Android-based tablets, on the other hand, are not gaining traction among its customers, it said.

The financial services sector is where the most iPad users can be found, followed by business and professional services companies and the life sciences sector.

The problem for the Android camp is that there are no price-performance advantages with choosing one of their products, according to Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner.

"No one in their right mind buys a device that doesn't have the same prestige for the same amount of money when they aren't getting hardware that's better. Apple still has a big lead," he said.

There is also more enterprise software that has been customized for the iPads, Wallin said.

For now, Apple has cornered the tablet market, but the arrival of the first tablets based on Microsoft's Windows 8 should affect tablet activation numbers, Good said.

The iPad 2 was still the most popular of Apple's tablets during the first quarter, and the second most popular device overall. The third-generation iPad got off to a flying start among enterprise users and was the fourth most popular mobile device -- including tablets and phones -- even though it was only available during the end of the first quarter.

Among mobile devices overall, the iPhone 4S was the most popular product by a wide margin, according to Good's survey. The latest iPhone had a record-setting quarter with 37 percent of all activations among Good customers. The iPhone 4 came in third place.

The overall split between iOS and Android was 80 percent to 20 percent, respectively, compared to 71 percent to 29 percent, respectively, in the fourth quarter.

Tablets expected to become preferred computing device

Forrester Research expects sales to hit 375 million by 2016, with 760 million in use by that year.

Tablets are quickly becoming the consumer device of choice, threatening to disrupt the PC market, according to a new report.

Sales of tablets are expected to hit 375 million will be sold by 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 46 percent, according to a report from market researcher Forrester Research. Additionally, the market researcher predicts that there will be 760 million tablets in use by 2016

"Over the next four years, tablets will gain new sensors, processing power, and better wireless capabilities for connecting with nearby devices," Frank Gillette, principal analyst on Forrester's business technology futures team, wrote in the report. "This will enable full voice control and dictation, increased gesture control, more situational context, better accessory integration, and software that anticipates a user's needs."

Apple's iPad, which essentially created the market two years ago, will represent one-third of tablet sales by 2016, Forrester predicted. Meanwhile, Google's Android mobile operating system is expected to decline in market share due to a fragmented ecosystem that doesn't grant equal access to apps and to the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, which is geared to work on both tablets and traditional PCs.

"We believe that many original equipment manufacturers will shift focus from Android devices to Windows 8 tablets but that Samsung and a variety of low-priced white label tablets will stay the course and find a role in serving primarily growth markets with budget devices," Gillette wrote in the report.

Forrester also predicts that a new class of peripheral with a larger display and greater processing power it calls "frames" will emerge "for larger-scale applications, small group interactions, and presentations."

Android won't challenge Apple's tablet dominance in 2012

Gartner: Android won't challenge Apple's tablet dominance in 2012

Lack of applications and fragmentation continues to hamper Google's mobile OS

Worldwide tablet sales to end users are expected to total 118.9 million units in 2012, with Apple continuing to dominate and the Android camp struggling to replicate its success in the smartphone market, according to Gartner.

That global sales forecast, which was released Tuesday, represents a 98 percent increase from 2011, during which 60 million tablets were sold.

Apple will sell about 73 million tablets during 2012, giving it 61.4 percent market share, compared to 66.6 percent during 2011, Gartner said.

At the same time, Android will not make much headway. Sales of tablets based on Google's OS will grow from 17.3 million to 37.9 million, allowing its market share to increase by 3 percentage points to 32 percent, according to Gartner.

"Basically, Android's market share isn't going to increase that much compared to 2011," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.

The two biggest vendors will be Samsung Electronics and Amazon with its Kindle, which will get a boost from an expected international rollout.

There are several reasons why Android won't be able to challenge Apple. Google and its hardware partners haven't done enough to make the ecosystem more interesting for users, according to Cozza.

The main issue is the lack of applications dedicated to tablets that, therefore, take advantage of their capabilities. That's due partly to the fact that traction among developers for tablet apps hasn't been as great as with smartphones, Cozza said.

Fragmentation also continues to be an issue, according to Gartner. For example, the use of different GPUs (graphic processor units) makes life difficult for games developers.

However, Apple's dominance will gradually be eroded. By 2016, tablets sales will have grown to about 369 million units. Apple will have a 46 percent of the market and the Android camp's share will have grown to 37 percent, as the latter platform matures.

The third horse in the tablet race over the next couple of years will be Microsoft. As the launch of Windows 8 draws closer, the hype is picking up. Its arrival will allow Microsoft and its partners to compete on a more equal footing with Apple's iPads and Android-based tablets.

By the end of the year, Microsoft and its partners will have sold about 4.9 million tablets to mainly enterprise users, giving it a 4.1 percent market share.

Sales will grow, but Microsoft will remain the third-largest platform and its share will not surpass 12 percent by 2016, according to Gartner.

That is based on the assumption that tablets running a Microsoft OS will still mainly be purchased for enterprise users, according to Cozza. But Microsoft is a bit of a wild card in the tablet market. If the company can turn Windows Phone into a success among consumers, that could also help propel tablet sales, she said.

Windows PCs to decline as Android, Apple devices rise.

Windows is going to be eclipsed by Android in 2016, according to market researcher IDC. Expect Apple's iOS to see an uptick too.

The PC will become a much less popular device by 2016 relative to mobile devices.

The venerable Windows-Intel PC will see a sharp decline by 2016 while devices running Android and Apple's iOS are on the rise, market researcher IDC said today.

There will be a "dramatic shift" between 2011 and 2016, with the "once-dominant" Windows-Intel (aka, x86) PCs dropping from a market-dominating 35.9 percent share in 2011 to 25.1 percent in 2016," IDC said.

Mobile devices like Android phones and tablets and Apple iPhones and iPads will step into the void and begin to dominate. Android devices (using ARM chips) will grow from 29.4 percent share in 2011 to a leading 31.1 percent share in 2016. And Apple's iOS-based devices will grow from a 14.6 percent share in 2011 to 17.3 percent in 2016.

The once-dominant Windows-x86 PCs will drop from a market-leading 35.9 percent share in 2011 to 25.1 percent in 2016, IDC said. Android and iOS market share will continue to rise, eventually eclipsing Windows.

 


(Credit: IDC)
"Smart, connected, compute-capable [phones and tablets] are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual's life," Bob O'Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC, said in a statement.

This year, unit shipments for smart connected devices should top 1.1 billion worldwide, IDC said. By 2016, IDC predicts shipments will jump to 1.84 billion units, more than double the 2011 figure.

This works out to a compound annual growth rate of 15.4 percent for the five-year forecast period, IDC said.

Android: But it's not all good news for all players in the Android market. "Android's growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices," Tom Mainelli, research director of mobile connected devices at IDC, said in a statement. "So, while we expect dozens of hardware vendors to own some share in the Android market, many will find profitability difficult to sustain."

iOS: And IDC expects a large percentage of application developers to focus their efforts on iOS because iOS users are willing to pay for high-quality apps.

 

106.1 million tablets to be shipped in 2012

 

Tablet shipments surged in the fourth quarter thanks to both Apple and Amazon.
iPad 2 and Kindle Fire. Apple dominated in the fourth quarter but Amazon fared well too.

Lest we forget, Apple still has some competition. Though IDC confirmed big shipment numbers for Apple, the market researcher said Amazon made a good showing too.

Global tablet shipments into "sales channels" rose by 56 percent on a sequential basis in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011 to 28.2 million units, according to IDC.

That represents a whopping 155 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2010.

IDC tablet shipment highlights:

  • In 2011, tablet shipments reached 68.7 million.
  • In 2012, shipments will be 106.1 million, up from 87.7 million in previous forecast.
  • Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads in Q4-2011, garnering 55 percent of the global market.
  • Amazon shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fire tablets in Q4, grabbing 16.8 percent.
  • Third-place Samsung grew its share to 5.8 percent in Q4.
  • Barnes & Noble saw its Nook tablet share slip to 3.5 percent.

Amazon shipped 4.7 million Kindle Fires  into the market in the fourth quarter, making an "impressive" tablet debut, IDC said.

But Apple maintained a big lead, shipping 15.4 million units in the quarter, up from 11.1 million units in the third quarter.

The Kindle Fire--which runs a custom version of Google's Android operating system--grew its share of the Android market to 44.6 percent in the fourth quarter from 32.3 percent in the third quarter. As a result, Apple's iOS slipped from 61.6 percent market share to 54.7 percent of the total tablet market.

Based upon expectations for a spike in demand in 2012, IDC upped its 2012 forecast to 106.1 million units, up from its previous forecast of 87.7 million units.


(Credit: IDC)

iPad's share of tablet market to dip to 62 percent this year

The iPad will maintain its lead, though its share will drop because of competition from Android devices, estimates research firm TrendForce.

Apple will remain king of the tablet market this year but its reign may be shaken a bit by the ongoing flood of Android devices.

The company will carve off a 62 percent chunk of the tablet market this year, according to a report out yesterday from TrendForce. But that will continue a decline from 66 percent last year and 87 percent the previous year.

Though the iPad's market share may be on the downswing, its sales are still headed in the opposite direction. Estimates from TrendForce call for global sales of about 59 million units in 2012, up from nearly 41 million last year and 14 million in 2010.

 

Certain Android vendors have captured some of Apple's former market share, but they've failed to catch up with the iPad's advancements.

Amazon's low-priced Kindle Fire ignited strong sales during the holiday quarter. But the Fire "still does not quite match consumers' expectations for a tablet PC," TrendForce said. Further, Amazon's orders for display panels have fallen for the first half of 2012, indicating that the Fire won't be a threat to the iPad's dominant lead.

Some tablet vendors have been slowly cutting back on Android to focus on Windows 8 as Microsoft prepares its new tablet-friendly OS. But even here, success is far from assured.

"The makers are counting on Windows users' high commitment to Microsoft Office to spur the sales of Windows 8 tablets," TrendForce noted. "But several issues persist, such as whether or not the ARM Windows 8 tablet is able to release as scheduled, the weight and battery life, and whether the software compatibility and interface design cater to the users' preferences."

With a new high-resolution display expected, the iPad 3 will help Apple hang onto its leading market share.

But since the new panels are more time-consuming to make, TrendForce questions if supply will be able to keep up with demand.

Finally, any mini iPad in the works is still in the testing stage, according to the research firm. If such a tablet does go into production, it likely would surface around the fourth quarter of 2012, just before the holidays kick in. And rather than hurting sales of the iPad 3 in 2012, a mini iPad would provide a boost to Apple in 2013.

Overall, tablet makers are forecast to sell 94 million units this year, a 53 percent jump from the 62 million sold in 2011.
 

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