Global shipments of tablet computers surged 75.3%
higher year-over-year (YoY) in 4Q 2012 and 74.3% quarterly to a
record high 52.5 million units, according to preliminary results
from the International Data Corp.'s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly
Tablet Tracker. Lower average selling prices, the range of new
product offerings, and growth in holiday spending all fueled tablet
shipments to even greater heights.
"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't
disappoint," commented IDC research director for tablets Tom
"New product launches from the category's top vendors, as well
as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and
very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The
record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market,
which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time
in more than five years."
Shipments of Apple's iPads continued to dominate, though growing
competition led to a second consecutive quarterly decline in
Apple's share of the market. Totaling 22.9 million units, 4Q iPad
shipments rose 48.1% YoY though Apple's share of the tablet market
dropped to 43.6% from 46.4% in 3Q, according to IDC.
Samsung's tablet shipments soared 263% higher YoY, totaling
nearly 8 million for Android and Windows 8 tablets combined, for a
15.1% market share, unchanged from 3Q.
Elsewhere among the top 5 tablet vendors, Amazon and Barnes
& Noble also saw their market shares rise. Amazon shipped more
than 6 million tablets in 4Q, YoY growth of 26.8% with its market
share rising to 11.5% from 8.3% in 3Q.
Shipping nearly one million tablets, 27.7% lower YoY, Barnes
& Noble nonetheless saw its market share rise to 1.9% from
Ranking fourth, Asus' market share fell to 5.8% from 7.8%
quarterly though sales of its Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet
continued strong, and it registered the highest YoY growth rate
among the top 5 vendors at 402.3%.
Microsoft entered the tablet market with the introduction of the
Surface and Windows RT tablet, though it was unable to break into
the top 5, shipping just shy of 900,000 units in 4Q.
The implications of these tablet trends should drive our
broadband service provider clients to ensure their products and
services are in line with the growing use of tablets, both in the
home and in the business.