Apple, Samsung Lead Tablet Market: IDC
Worldwide tablet shipments continue to surge, growing 142.4 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013.Tablet shipments totaled 49.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, surpassing that of the entire first half of 2012, with growth fueled by increased market demand for smaller screen devices, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Worldwide tablet shipments continue to surge, growing 142.4 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013, and the market shows no signs of slowing down. Even Apple, which historically has experienced a steep drop off in first quarter shipments following strong holiday sales in the fourth quarter, outperformed IDC's most recent projections for the quarter, shipping 19.5 million units compared to a forecast of 18.7 million units. "Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than-expected first quarter for Apple," Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC, said in a statement. "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." Second-place finisher Samsung also performed above expectations and managed to grow its shipments over the fourth quarter as more of the company's smaller-size tablets began to gain traction in the market. Samsung has also used its recent Android smartphone growth to help bring its tablet product line into new markets and channels, leveraging the opportunity to package and bundle, the report noted.
The company recently announced its latest tablet: the Galaxy Tab 3, which runs Google's Android Jelly Bean 4.1 operating system and boasts a 7-inch display. A WiFi version of the Galaxy Tab 3 will be available globally beginning in May, and a 3G version will follow in June, although product availability will vary by market and will be rolled out gradually.