Samsung, Asus Gains Help Keep Tablet Market Growing

by Reads (3,940)

Tablets remain popular with consumers, and continue to grow at a healthy rate — and it’s not just Apple that owns the market any more. New figures from market-research firm IDC show two competitors finally emerging from the string of Android failures to grow at an even faster rate than Apple.

All told, nearly 25 million tablets shipped worldwide in the second quarter 2012, a 66% increase over the 15 million sold in the second quarter of 2011. Apple still owned the roost, with 17 million units sold and 84.3% year-over-year growth. All told, it held 68.2% of the market, up from 61.5% at the same time last year.

But Samsung and Asus are coming on strong with good yearly growth, plus the emergence of the Kindle Fire is also stirring things up. Samsung sales rose 117.6% year-over-year to 2.4 million units, while Asus jumped 115.5% to 855,000. Amazon entered the fray this year with 1.2 million Kindle Fires sold for 5% market share.

The big losers? Pretty much everyone else. Acer plunged 38.7% year-over-year, and the Other category, which is pretty much all of the Android competitors, fell 16.4%. That number is a bit deceiving. Although the Other category went from 3.6 million to 3.0 million, because of the growth of the market, its market share was halved, from 24.4% to 12.3%.

Consumers Control the Tablet Market

So begins the inevitable shakeout that every market goes through as it matures. Bob O’Donnell, program vice president for clients and displays at IDC, said more than 80% of the market is still consumer, and even many business use cases are people bringing their own device to work.

“The commercial business is growing but from a small base. There are very few examples of companies that bought large numbers for employees. Most are still experimenting with it,” he said.

The enterprise is still trying to figure out where and how to use tablets beyond simply giving employees something they want. “They are asking what to do with it. What do they put on it? Do they stop giving staff a notebook? Do they buy it in addition to a notebook when they have barely enough money to keep notebooks refreshed?” he said. He notes many companies still have not rolled out Windows 7 laptops; Windows XP holds a market share in the 40% range, much of that in businesses.

The growth of Samsung and Asus helps keep the overall market growing since they bring their own special offerings. Asus gives you the option of keyboards, Samsung has the Galaxy Tab and Note. O’Donnell attributes a little of this success to “ABA — anything but Apple,” but Apple still owns the market.

O’Donnell expects Q3 to be relatively moderate in the U.S. but Q4 could be huge because the expected smaller-scale Apple iPad, a new Kindle Fire, a new Barnes & Noble Nook and the wildcard, Windows RT tablets.

The iPad Mini could be a game-changer. “If Apple hits the price point we’re thinking, around $249, it will make it extraordinarily difficult for the other guys, especially in the U.S. because of the preference for Apple in the U.S.,” he said.

Vendor

2Q12 Shipments

Market Share

2Q11 Shipments

Market Share

2Q12/2Q11 Growth

1. Apple

17,042

68.2%

9,248

61.5%

84.3%

2. Samsung

2,391

9.6%

1,099

7.3%

117.6%

3. Amazon

1,252

5.0%

0

NA

NA

4. ASUS

855

3.4%

397

2.6%

115.5%

5. Acer

385

1.5%

629

4.2%

-38.7%

Others

3,067

12.3%

3,668

24.4%

-16.4%

All Vendors

24,994

100%

15,042

100%

66.2%

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