Tablet market breaks records as PCs falter
The April to June quarter of 2012 set a new record for media tablet shipments - hitting an impressive 25 million units with total shipments increasing 36% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and 77% year-over-year (YoY).
As expected, Apple iPad shipments represented nearly 69% of worldwide volumes for the period, although gains were also posted by Samsung (8.1%) and Asus (4.0%).
Unsurprisingly, RIM (1.0%) recorded a significant decline, while shipments of Dell and LG ceased as both companies retrenched for future tablet offerings.
"Most impressive about Apple’s 17.0 million tablet shipments in 2Q’2012 was it nearly matched 2010 total worldwide shipments of 17.3 million for all vendors," explained ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr.
"Nearly one million of its iPad 2 devices were shipped to US education customers during the period, which contributed to the company’s growth but also its continuing average selling price (ASP) decline."
Despite shipment restrictions imposed on Samsung, the Korean manufacturer maintained its second-place share for 2Q’2012, followed by Amazon and Asus. New vendors and products entered the tablet fray in the second quarter, including Google's Nexus 7 and Microsoft's Surface which will ship in October.
According to Orr, the new products will inevitably impact market share - both positively from Google Nexus 7 and negatively from Microsoft’s Surface tablets - of Google’s Android OS used on most tablet models.
"[In total], the tablet market is on track for 102 to 110 million shipments worldwide for full-year 2012," added Orr.
Interestingly, the majority of the above-mentioned shipments were for Wi-Fi only devices, effectively restricting table use to homes, facilities and public hotspots.
To be sure, less than 27% of new shipments included a mobile broadband (3G/4G) modem module in 2Q’2012, down 12% YoY.
A more competitive marketplace and consumers looking to keep personal expenses down likely contributed to the lack of 3G/4G-enabled units.