Global tablet sales slow

IDC, which has repeatedly talked up the importance of Apple in mobile, made the somewhat strange claim that the reason the tablet market is suffering is because everyone is waiting for a new tablet from Cupertino.

Instead of just saying that the global tablet sales slowed during the second quarter,  IDC could not resist telling us that the whole tablet market should reignite with the expected release of a new iPad model later this year.

One would think that the whole of the tablet market was dependant on Apple, rather than the trillions of other tablets which are out there.

IDC’s Tom Mainelli said that a new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors.

A quarter-over-quarter slowdown in sales was expected given that Apple did not release a new version of the iPad early in the year as it had in the past, according to IDC analysts.

This strikes us as an odd thing to say given that his figures clearly show that, while Apple is the single biggest company making iPads, its control of the market has collapsed.

According to IDC, Apple shipped 14.6 million iPads in the second quarter of 2013, a 14 percent drop from the 17 million tablets it shipped in Q2 2013. Over that same time, Android tablet shipments surged from 10.7 million in Q2 2012 to 28.2 million in Q2 2013, an increase of 163 percent.

Apple held a 60.3 percent market share and Android held a 38 percent market share in Q2 2012, Android now holds a 62.6 percent market share and Apple holds a 32.5 percent market share.

Global tablet shipments in the second quarter of this year declined 9.7 percent from the prior three-month period.

“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” Mainelli claimed.

IDC’s theory that people were waiting for Apple to release a new tablet does not really work.

IDC reports tablet shipments climbed nearly 60 percent to 45.1 million units when compared with the same quarter a year earlier. This is the same period that Apple did not release a tablet and therefore could not grab much interest. The theory that Apple is directing market interest is a little tricky when it did not release a model during a period of 60 percent growth.

Meanwhile, sales of tablets grew for Apple rivals Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Acer, market figures showed.

IDC noted that Microsoft fuelled products were starting to make progress into the market.

About 2 million Windows powered tablets were shipped in the second quarter in an increase of more than five times from the same three-month period last year, according to IDC.