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.
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%.
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.