Demand for tablets has slowed in the second quarter as consumers await the latest iPad update, expected to arrive this fall. Worldwide tablet shipments fell 9.7% from the first quarter, according to new data from IDC. The research firm noted that the 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter, though, was still up nearly 60% from a year ago.
Without a next-generation model launched in March as in prior years, iPad shipments in the second quarter fell to 14.5 million from 19.5 million in the first quarter. Apple’s overall share of the tablet market has been nearly cut in half, dropping to 32.4% in the quarter from 60.3% a year ago, as Samsung and other rivals have gained ground.
These companies, however, also experienced second-quarter declines. Samsung’s tablet shipments slipped to 8.1 million from 8.6 million in the first quarter, while Asus shipped 2 million units, down from 2.6 million in Q1. Even so, those totals were up significantly from 2.1 million, and 900,000 a year earlier.
However, IDC noted that not all manufacturers saw a slowdown in the latest
quarter. Lenovo shipped 1.5 million tablets, up from just 400,000 a year ago, while Acer shipped 1.4 million, up almost 250% from a year ago, and 35.4% from the first quarter. Ryan Reith, program
manager for IDC’s Mobile Tracker programs said vendors can rise and fall quickly in the evolving tablet market.
"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, research director, tablets at IDC. "With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter.”
By the fourth quarter, the research firm expects new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to rejuvenate tablet sales during the holiday shopping season. Apple is rumored to be targeting a September launch for its fifth-generation iPad, while plans for the next version of the iPad mini remain unclear."Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run,” he stated. So far, Android has been much more successful than Windows 8, though Reith suggested Microsoft products are starting to make progress into the market.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer himself recently admitted behind closed doors the company hasn’t sold as many Windows devices as it would like, according a Verge report. It pans to focus on the back-to-school and holiday seasons to boost sales.
The Android operating system accounted for 28.2 million tablet shipments in Q2, or 62.6% share, followed by iOS, with 14.6 million (32.5%), and Windows a distant third, at 1.8 million (4%).
Microsoft "plans" to focus, but I think its ZunePad laid an egg.