Apple's Share of Tablet Market Sinks on Lack of Product Launches in Early 2013
Research firm IDC today announced its preliminary estimates of worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2013, finding that Apple's share of the market has fallen to under a third. According to IDC's numbers, Apple held a 32.4% share of the market for quarter, compared to 39.6% in the previous quarter and a 60.3% share in the year-ago quarter.
While other top tablet manufacturers saw their shipments rise by 100-300% over the second quarter of 2012, the lack of a new iPad launch from Apple in the March-April timeframe resulted in a 14% drop in Apple's numbers. Still, other top vendors saw their shipments drop sequentially, with IDC attributing those drops to a lack of a general boost in tablet interest that accompanies iPad launches.
In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top 3 also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter. Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1 million units shipped in 2Q12. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0 million units in 2Q13, down from 2.6 million in 1Q13.
"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. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."
Second-place Samsung continues to close on Apple in the tablet market, garnering 18% of the market as all of the other major tablet makers continue struggling to hit the 5% mark.
As always, 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 most companies do not release their exact tablet 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.