Tablet growth slows in Q2 as vendors eye H2 battle

Slate form factor still shows 60% YoY growth

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Tablet growth slows in Q2 as vendors eye H2 battle Worldwide tablet shipments finally experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell 9.7% from Q1.
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 6, 2013

Second-quarter worldwide tablet shipments were down from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, but still showed almost 60% year-on-year growth.

Worldwide tablet shipments finally experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell 9.7% from Q1. However, the 45.1m units shipped in the second quarter was up 59.6% from the same quarter in 2012, when tablet vendors shipped 28.3m devices.

Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple's iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6m units for the quarter, down from 19.5m in Q1. In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-on-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top three also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter. Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1m units, down from 8.6m in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1m units shipped in Q2 2012. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0m units in Q2, down from 2.6m in Q1.

"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets at IDC.

"With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."

Not all vendors experienced a slowdown during the quarter. PC stalwarts Lenovo and Acer both re-entered the top five this quarter. Lenovo continued to make headway into the world of mobility, shipping a total of 1.5m devices. This was up 313.9% from a year ago and enough to capture 3.3% market share. Rounding out the top 5 was Acer, which shipped 1.4m tablets in Q2 for 247.9% year-on-year growth and an increase of 35.4% over the first quarter of 2013.

"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," said Ryan Reith, manager for IDC's Mobility Tracker programmes.

"Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run. To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market."

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