Apple Shines, But Slumping Android Shipments Lead to Disappointing First Quarter for Media Tablets, According to IDC

  Apple Shines, But Slumping Android Shipments Lead to Disappointing First
  Quarter for Media Tablets, According to IDC

Business Wire

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- May 03, 2012

A steep drop in shipments of Android-based tablets offset a strong quarter
from Apple and caused the media tablet market to miss projections for the
first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), according to preliminary data from the
International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and
eReader Tracker. Total worldwide media tablet shipments for the quarter
reached 17.4 million units in 1Q12, 1.2 million units below IDC's projection
for the quarter. While IDC predicted a sharp seasonal slowdown of -34% from
the previous quarter’s record-breaking 28.2 million units, the actual decline
was slightly steeper at -38.4%. The total still represents a robust
year-over-year growth rate of 120%, up from 7.9 million units in the first
quarter of 2011.

"Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge
shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers
drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season,"
said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC.
"Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a
content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as
educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced
iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be
paying off as well."

Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, down from 15.4 million
units in the fourth quarter of 2011, and grew its worldwide share from 54.7%
in 4Q11 to 68% in 1Q12. Amazon, which stormed into the market in 4Q11 to grab
second place with 16.8% of the market on shipment of 4.8 million units, saw
its share decline significantly in the first quarter to just over 4%, falling
to third place as a result. Samsung took advantage of Amazon's weakness to
regain the number two position while Lenovo vaulted into the number four spot,
followed by Barnes & Noble at number five.

Although total Android shipments were down sharply in 1Q12, companies such as
Samsung and Lenovo are beginning to gain traction in the market with their
latest generation of Android products. IDC expects the segment to rebound
quickly as other vendors introduce new products in the second quarter and
beyond.

"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to
grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N, and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to
compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products
at notably lower price points," Mainelli added. "We expect a new,
larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and
Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet
designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The search
giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs
Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture."

The impact that Microsoft Windows 8- and Windows RT-based tablets, which are
widely expected to ship into the market by the fourth quarter, will have on
the overall tablet market is yet to be determined. Pricing on the new Windows
tablets hasn't been announced, and that will be a critical factor when it
comes to winning over consumers. Consumer reception to the new OS and the
success of integration with traditional Windows systems will also be critical.

"The worldwide tablet market is entering a new phase in the second half of
2012 that will undoubtedly reshape the competitive landscape," said Bob
O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. "While Apple will
continue to sit comfortably on the top for now, the battle for the next
several positions is going to be fierce. Throw in Ultrabooks, the launch of
Windows 8, and a few surprise product launches, and you have all the makings
of an incredible 2012 holiday shopping season."

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market
intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology,
telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT
professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make
fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than
1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology
and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 48
years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their
key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading
technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC
by visiting www.idc.com.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective holders.

Contact:

IDC
Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Bob O’Donnell, 650-350-6482
bodonnell@idc.com
or
Loren Loverde, 305-351-3115
lloverde@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com
 
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