Samsung doubles its share of global tablet market; Apple still leads

Tablet shipments rise during strong holiday quarter, says the latest IDC report

Published Date
01 - Feb - 2013
| Last Updated
01 - Feb - 2013
Samsung doubles its share of global tablet market; Apple still le...

Samsung has increased its share of the global tablet PC market two-fold in the last quarter of the 2012 whereas Apple saw its share shrink in the same period, despite leading the market. The latest IDC report sheds light on the changed scenario in the global tablet market.

Samsung has sold about 7.9 million units (Android and Windows 8 slates combined), up from 2.2 million a year ago. As per the IDC report, the Korean giant has increased its market share to 15.1 percent. Apple's shares, howevers, dipped from 51.7 percent to 43.6 percent, despite of having surge in sales. Apple's iPad led the market with a total of 22.9 million units shipments.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble have seen their market share increase sharply with their new devices gaining popularity during the holiday season. Amazon shipped more than 6 million slates during the last quarter, taking its share to 11.5 percent, up from 8.3 percent the previous quarter. Barnes & Noble shipped close to a million units, taking its share to 1.9 percent, up from 0.7 percent.

Asus stood at the number four, seeing its share dipping from 7.8 percent to 5.8 percent despite strong sales of Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet. Microsoft, which entered the market with its Surface tablets, could not make it to IDC's top five as it could ship just shy of 900,000 units.

"There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company's Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best," said Ryan Reith, Program Manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC.

"We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes."

Overall, global shipments of tablet PCs surged 75 percent in the final quarter of 2012 to a record 52.5 million units.

"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," says Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, at IDC.

"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 shipments 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."

Read the full IDC report here.