Tablet Shipments Soar to Record Levels During Strong Holiday Quarter, According to IDC

  Tablet Shipments Soar to Record Levels During Strong Holiday Quarter,
  According to IDC

Business Wire

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- January 31, 2013

Worldwide tablet shipments outpaced predictions reaching a record total of
52.5 million units worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), according
to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide
Quarterly Tablet Tracker. The tablet market grew 75.3% year over year in 4Q12
(up from 29.9 million units in 4Q11) and increased 74.3% from the previous
quarter's total of 30.1 million units. Lower average selling prices (ASPs), a
wide range of new product offerings, and increased holiday spending all acted
as catalysts to push the already climbing tablet market to record levels.

"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's iPad once again led the market, and the firm's shipment total of 22.9
million units was exactly in line with IDC's forecast for the period. A strong
iPad mini launch, plus availability of the fourth generation full-sized iPad,
led to solid 48.1% shipment growth over the same quarter last year. However,
strong competition in the market led to Apple's market share declining for a
second quarter in a row (down to 43.6% from 46.4% last quarter). Number two
vendor Samsung experienced 263% year-on-year growth, shipping nearly 8 million
combined Android and Windows 8 tablets during the quarter to grab 15.1% of the
market, its same market share total from the previous quarter.

Amongst the other top 5 vendors, Amazon and Barnes & Noble both saw their
market share increase sharply as new products gained traction during the
holiday season. Amazon shipped more than 6 million tablets during the quarter,
increasing its share to 11.5%, up from 8.3% the previous quarter, with
year-over year growth of 26.8%; Barnes & Noble shipped close to a million
units, increasing its share to 1.9%, up from 0.7%, despite a year-over-year
growth rate of -27.7%. Meanwhile, number four Asus saw its share slip from
7.8% to 5.8% despite continued strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7
tablet and the highest year-over-year increase in the top five at 402.3%.
Microsoft entered the market during the quarter with its Surface with Windows
RT tablet, but failed to reach the top five after shipping just shy of 900,000
units into the channel.

"There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the
long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT
operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and
reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best,"
said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "We believe
that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities
of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to
believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are
worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8
and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes."

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Tablet Shipments, Fourth Quarter 2012 (Preliminary)
(Units Shipments are in millions)
                 4Q12            4Q12         4Q11            4Q11         4Q12/4Q11
Vendor        Shipments    Market    Shipments    Market    Growth
                                 Share                        Share
1. Apple      22.9         43.6%     15.5         51.7%     48.1%
2. Samsung    7.9          15.1%     2.2          7.3%      263.0%
3.    6.0          11.5%     4.7          15.9%     26.8%
4. ASUS       3.1          5.8%      0.6          2.0%      402.3%
5. Barnes     1.0          1.9%      1.4          4.6%      -27.7%
& Noble
Others        11.6         22.1%     5.5          18.5%     108.9%
All           52.5         100%      29.9         100%      75.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, January 31, 2013 (preliminary data)

Table Notes:

  *Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
  *Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM
    sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.

In addition to the table above, a graphic showing the relative market shares
of the top 5 tablet vendors over the previous five quarters is available at The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and
social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by
viewing this press release on

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Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
Twitter: @TomMainelli
Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
Twitter: @ryanreith
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
Twitter: @IDC
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