Android tablets surge in Q3 at the expense of Apple

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The tablet market grew 49.5 percent year over year in 3Q12 and 6.7 percent over the second quarter of 2012. Android shipments, led by Samsung and Amazon, surged during the quarter, at the expense of Apple, which saw its share slip notably during the quarter. “After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up,” said Tom Mainelli, research director for tablets at IDC. “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. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini’s relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.” Apple’s slowdown put a sizeable dent in the company’s commanding worldwide market tablet share, which slipped from 65.5 percent in 2Q12 to 50.4 percent in 3Q12. The remaining top five tablet vendors all gained share during the quarter as a result. Most notable was the impressive quarter turned out by Samsung ? driven by its ever-growing portfolio of tablets. Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets worldwide in 3Q12, up 115.0 percent from 2Q12; that’s an increase of 325.0 percent from 3Q11, when it shipped 1.2 million tablets. The top 5 was rounded out by Amazon, Asus, and Lenovo; with all three vendors experiencing sequential growth over 2Q12 while Lenovo and Asus also saw solid year-over-year growth. Amazon, which did not have product in 3Q11, announced new 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablets late in the quarter, and began shipping the new 7-inch HD version (in addition to a refreshed version of the original 7-inch Fire) in mid-September. This helped grow its worldwide market share from 4.8 percent in 2Q12 to 9.0 percent in 3Q12, despite only shipping in the US (the company began shipping into five additional countries in 4Q12). Asus’s share growth was backed by strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7 device; Lenovo’s gains were driven by strong shipments in China. “Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter,” said Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colors, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter. Its growth to 18.4 percent of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad.” “Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple,” Reith added. “With the recent introduction of a number of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, consumers now have a third viable tablet platform from which to choose. However, 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.” ]]>

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