Total available market of media tablets in the second quarter 2012 increased significantly from 18.7 million units in Q1 to nearly 25 million units in Q2. Thanks to the launch of the third-generation iPad, Apple managed to sustain its leadership position with 68.2% market share. Meanwhile, Asustek Computer and Samsung Electronics are closing in and shipments of their tablets are increasing faster than sales of Apple iPad.
Total worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 are estimated at 25 million units; up from 18.7 in the first quarter of 2012, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). That represents a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6% and a robust year-over-year growth rate of 66.2%, up from 15 million units in the second quarter of 2011.
"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. The vast majority of consumers continue to favor 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," said Tom Mainelli, research director of mobile connected devices at IDC.
- Apple shipped 17 million iPads during the quarter, up from 11.8 million units in Q1 2012 and well above its previous record of 15.4 million in Q4 2011.
- Apple was not 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 2.4 million units shipped, up from 1.1 million units a year ago.
- Amazon rebounded from a sluggish first quarter to post shipments of 1.2 million units (the company, which ships its Fire tablet only in the U.S., entered the market in Q4 2011).
- Asustek Computer shipped 855 thousand units, well above its total of 397 thousand units a year ago.
- Finally, only fifth-placed Acer saw its year-over-year numbers decline, as it shipped 385 thousand units this quarter, down from 629 thousand units a year ago.
"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. If anything, there is 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," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president of clients and displays at IDC.