Tablet Shipments Slowing Ahead of New iPad, Kindle Launches: IDC

Tablet shipments slowed in the second quarter of 2013, according to IDC. The research firm blamed that slowdown on a lack of new high-profile tablet releases.

“With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter,” Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC, wrote in an August 5 research note. “However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”

IDC estimates Apple’s hold on the tablet market at 32.4 percent, a 14.1 percent decline from the second quarter in 2012. Samsung stands at 18 percent, a 277 percent rise from the same quarter last year. Asus, Lenovo, and Acer also enjoyed explosive growth, although their respective market-shares have remained in the single digits.

When broken down by operating systems, Google Android commands the lion’s share of the tablet market with an estimated 62.6 percent, followed by iOS with 32.5 percent and Windows with 4.0 percent. Windows RT, Microsoft’s Windows 8 build for ARM-based processors, came in at 0.5 percent, just ahead of BlackBerry OS at 0.3 percent. That’s bad news for Microsoft, which has devoted considerable resources toward marketing the (relatively) new Windows 8 as an ideal tablet competitor; the company recently slashed prices of its flagship Surface tablets in a bid to spark demand.

“The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result,” Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Tracker programs, wrote in a statement. “Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run. To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market.”

Apple is expected to release new products this fall, which could include a new iPad and iPad Mini. Amazon could also launch an updated line of Kindle Fire tablets. If that proves the case, the tablet market could experience a sizable bump in shipments by the end of 2013.


Image: Yuralaits Albert/