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Apple iPad drives strong tablet growth in Q2 '12

Posted: 07 Aug 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple  tablet  market growth 

International Data Corp. (IDC) reports a better-than-anticipated second quarter for the tablet market primarily driven by Apple's iPad.

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker, total worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 (Q2 12) are estimated at 2.5 crore units; up from 1.87 crore in the first quarter of 2012. That represents a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6 per cent and a robust year-over-year growth rate of 66.2 per cent, up from 1.5 crore units in the second quarter of 2011. IDC will release final shipment totals for the quarter later this month.

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. "The vast majority of consumers continue to favour the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets—especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference."

Apple shipped 1.7 crore iPads during the quarter, up from 1.18 crore units in Q1 12 and well above its previous record of 1.54 crore in Q4 11, reports IDC. Apple wasn't the only company to experience solid growth in the second quarter. Four of the top five worldwide vendors saw their shipments increase year over year. Samsung experienced exceptional growth, and landed in second place with 24 lakh units shipped, up from 11 lakh units a year ago. Amazon rebounded from a sluggish first quarter to post shipments of 12 lakh units (the company, which ships its Fire tablet only in the U.S., entered the market in Q4 11). ASUS shipped 8,55,454 units, well above its total of 3,97,048 units a year ago. Finally, only fifth-placed Acer saw its year-over-year numbers decline, as it shipped 3,85,458 units this quarter, down from 6,29,222 units a year ago. It's worth noting that shipments of the well-received Google/ASUS co-branded Nexus 7 aren't reflected in these totals, as that product officially began shipping into the channel in the third quarter of 2012.

IDC expects competition in the tablet space to continue to heat up in the second half of 2012. "In addition to major new products from Amazon and quite likely Apple, we can also expect an influx of Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablets starting in late October," said Bob O'Donnell, programme vice president, Clients and Displays. "If anything, there's a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season. Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle."

 Top 5 vendors

Top 5 vendors, Worldwide media tablet shipments, Q2 2012 (Preliminary) (Unit shipments are in thousands). Source: IDC.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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