Worldwide tablet sales jumped in the fourth quarter beyond even some of
the most optimistic forecasts to 52.5 million, with Android-powered
devices pacing growth, a survey showed Thursday.
survey by business research firm IDC showed the tablet market grew 75.3
percent year over year in the quarter. and rocketed 74.3 percent from
the previous quarter's total of 30.1 million.
IDC said the
strongest growth came from Android, including tablets made by South
Korea's Samsung and Taiwan's Asus, which makes a Google-branded Nexus
Apple remained the biggest seller, but its market share was under 50 percent, IDC said.
survey found that Microsoft, which launched its new Surface tablet in
the quarter, failed to break into the top five sellers and shipped a
modest 900,000 of the devices in the quarter.
market's strong gains came from a spate of new product launches,
including the iPad mini, and lower prices, which encouraged buyers over
the holiday shopping season, IDC said.
"We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn't disappoint," said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli.
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."
Apple's iPad held its top position with
22.9 million units shipped. That was up 48 percent from a year earlier,
but lower than overall market growth.
As a result, Apple's market share declined for a second quarter in a row to 43.6 percent from 46.4 percent in the third quarter.
the number two vendor, saw year-on-year growth of 263 percent, selling
7.9 million tablets and grabbing a 15.1 percent percent market share.
said Amazon, which does not provide its own sales data, delivered some
six million tablets in the quarter to retain its spot as the number
That represented 26.8 percent growth, giving Amazon a market share of 11.5 percent, IDC said.
place belonged to Asus, which sold 3.1 million tablets, year-on-year
growth of more than 400 percent. That gave the Taiwan-based firm a 5.8
percent market share.
Barnes & Noble sold one million of its Nook tablets and accounted to 1.9 percent of the market, the survey found.
IDC analyst Ryan Reith said Microsoft will need to shift its strategy to compete better in the tablet market.
is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the
long haul," he said, calling the market reaction to Surface "muted."
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 (selling prices) on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices
need to come down to drive higher volumes.
Tablets at CES 2013