iPad, Samsung Devices Lead Strong Tablet Market: IDC
A wide range of new-product offerings and increased holiday spending drove sales of tablets, led by Samsung devices and Apple's iPad tablets.Led by Apple's popular iPad and recently released iPad Minis, fourth-quarter tablet shipments jumped 75.3 percent from the same period in 2011 and 74.3 percent from the third quarter of 2012, according to IT research firm IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Lower average selling prices (ASPs), a wide range of new-product offerings and increased holiday spending boosted tablet shipments, according to IDC. Worldwide tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012 climbed to 52.5 million units from 29.9 million units during the same period in 2011 and 30.1 million units in the third quarter of 2012. A strong iPad Mini launch, plus the availability of the fourth-generation full-sized iPad, led to Apple's 48.1 percent shipment growth from the same quarter last year. However, strong competition in the market led to Apple's market share declining for a second quarter in a row, to 43.6 percent from 46.4 percent in the third quarter. "We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," Tom Mainelli, IDC's research director for tablets, said in a statement. "New-product launches from the category's top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipment totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years."
Samsung experienced 263 percent year-on-year growth, shipping nearly 8 million Android and Windows 8 tablets, combined, during the fourth quarter to grab 15.1 percent of the market, on par its third-quarter share but more than double its share of 7.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012.