Apple's Share of Worldwide Tablet Shipments Falls Below 40% in 1Q 2013

Research firm IDC today announced its preliminary estimates of worldwide tablet shipments for the first quarter of 2013, finding that Apple's share of the market continues to slide as competitors begin to gain footholds in the market, although the firm notes that Apple did exceed expectations. Apple held a 39.6% share of the market for quarter, compared to 43.6% in the previous quarter and a 58.2% share in the year-ago quarter.

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Worldwide Tablet Shipments in 1Q13 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

Apple outperformed IDC's most recent projections for the quarter, shipping 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million units. The company, which historically has experienced a steep drop off in first quarter shipments (following strong holiday sales in the fourth quarter), saw some smoothing of that seasonality this year. [...]

"Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than expected first quarter for Apple," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. "In addition, by moving the iPad launch to the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple seems to have avoided the typical first-quarter slowdown that traditionally occurred when consumers held off buying in January and February in anticipation of a new product launch in March."

Samsung and Asus in particular saw strong performances during the quarter, with each seeing year-over-year shipment increases in excess of 250% compared to Apple's 65% growth. Still, Apple's share of the market is more than double that of second-place Samsung. In looking at operating systems, Android now outships iOS, with Android taking 56.5% of the market and iOS taking just under 40%.

idc_1Q13_tablets_trend
It is important to note that IDC's numbers track shipments instead of sales, and thus how many shipped devices are making their way into consumers' hands remains unclear. IDC's figures are also estimates, as a number of companies do not release their exact shipment data and thus research firms must rely on supply chain data and calculations from information that is made public by manufacturers to build their estimates.

Related Roundups: iPad mini 5, iPad
Tag: IDC

Top Rated Comments

thundersteele Avatar
104 months ago
there is a reason why we see others tablets being blown out on discount sites - they sit on shelves and collect dust. you don't see that with iPads....not at the same levels. shipment numbers don't matter - units in hands do...

I wish they would show actual sales... shipments mean nothing... everyone can ship as many as they like... are people buying is the question?

This is getting old. The first generation of Android tablets were overpriced and unfinished. Shipping sizes were a few 100k, not millions, and many of those were indeed sold with large discounts.

However today Android tablets are competitive in price and offer a decent software package (whether it is as good as iOS is debatable). There are NOT 8 million Samsung tablets sitting on the shelves, nor Kindle Fire's or Nexus 7 (the Asus number). Margins are certainly lower than for iPads, but Android tablets are in business now.

Welcome to reality!
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
grassfeeder Avatar
104 months ago
there is a reason why we see others tablets being blown out on discount sites - they sit on shelves and collect dust. you don't see that with iPads....not at the same levels. shipment numbers don't matter - units in hands do...
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spyguy10709 Avatar
104 months ago
Something to remember

Shipped units =/= sales.

I've yet to see a Samsung tablet out in the wild, but everywhere I go - I see iPads.

(Or maybe I can't tell if they're Samsung's or not! lol :cool:)
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
104 months ago
Shipped units aren't the whole story, but it is still an indicator of popularity. A company can't just ship out 50,000,000 units and claim they've made the best selling product ever, because after awhile, it'd end up costing them far more than they're making, and stores would quit accepting them.

Shipped units doesn't give you the exact number of how many people are using your product, but if you're shipping more month after month, you're likely selling more.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lilo777 Avatar
104 months ago
Why does MR continue to report this crap that isn't based off shipment data from OEMs (well, except for Apple) but estimates based on who the heck knows what. :rolleyes:

Because that's the only data that is available. It's the best data we have.

To those spreading FUD like "shipments are not sales" and "I only see iPads around and never Android tablets" - remember how you did the same thing with phone sale numbers? Not so much anymore. Everybody knows now that Android phones outsell iPhone b a wide margin. It's only a matter of time before the same happens for tablets. In the mean time enjoy your lunacies :D
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popeye206 Avatar
104 months ago
I wish they would show actual sales... shipments mean nothing... everyone can ship as many as they like... are people buying is the question?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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