Tablet market swells by over 75%: IDC
Year-on-year surge in quarterly shipments explained by new products, lower prices
Global shipments in the tablet PC sector reached a better-than-expected 52.5m units, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
The overall market showed 75.4% year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of last year and expanded 75.3% from the previous quarter, driven by lower average selling prices (ASPs) and a host of new products.
"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC.
"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."
Apple remained the market leader, shipping 22.9m units for a surge in volume of 51.7%, from 15.1m units in Q4 of 2011. But the influx of new industry players led to the iPad maker seeing a 13.6% loss in share to 43.6% from just over 50% at the previous year's end.
Apple's South Korean arch rival Samsung more than doubled its market share from 7.4% to 15% after a massive 259% increase in unit shipments from 2.2m to 7.9m. Its performance allowed it to leapfrog Amazon, last year's number-two by market share.
With Samsung nipping at its heals, Apple will recognise a similar arrangement in the smartphone market in Q4 2011, before the South Korean manufacturer took the market crown at the end of 2012, although the current shipments gap in tablets between the two is considerably wider.
Amazon saw market share fall along with position from 15.9% to 11.5%, while shipments rose a little more than 26%. The top five was rounded out by ASUS and Barnes & Noble.