By 5 November 2012 | Categories: news


After recently analysing the Q3 2012 performance of the mobile phone- and smartphone OS markets, market research company IDC (International Data Corporation) now turns its attention to the tablet sector.

According to preliminary data from the IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker service, tablet shipments during Q3 2012 amounted to 27.8 million units. This means that the tablet market grew 49.5% year-on-year and 6.7% compared to the previous quarter (Q2 2012).

When it comes to tablets, Android shipments were led by Samsung and Amazon, with both of these OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) profiting at the expense of Apple. The iPhone maker saw its tablet market share slip notably during Q3 2012, enabling a couple of its competitors to finally put a dent in the company’s commanding worldwide market tablet share. Cupertino’s share decreased from 65.5% during Q2 2012 to 50.4% within Q3 2012.

Apple loses its shine, sales mojo expected to return in Q4

Tom Mainelli, research director for Tablets at IDC stated that after Apple’s very strong second quarter performance, the firm’s market growth slowed with consumers delaying their purchase of new iPads as rumours of the iPad mini began to heat up.

“We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini’s relatively high $329 starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.”

Inline table: IDC

Apple’s loss is Samsung’s gain

The biggest winner of that more than 15% market share drop by Apple, was Korean tech giant Samsung, as the firm’s tablet sales were driven by its Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1 devices. Samsung managed to ship 5.1 million tablets globally within Q3, representing an increase of 115% from Q2 2012 and a whopping 325% year-on-year growth compared to last year’s 1.2 million tablets.

Completing the Top 3 is Amazon, which announced its new 7" and 8.9" Kindle Fire HD tablets late in the quarter. The firm also only began shipping the updated 7" HD version during mid-September, and in doing so managed to increase its worldwide market share from 4.8% within Q2 2012 to 9% during Q3 2012.

This ensured that Amazon snagged third place ahead of Asus, which experienced market share growth on the back of strong shipments of its Google-branded Nexus 7 tablet. Rounding off the Top 5 was Lenovo, as it delivered sequential growth compared to Q2 2012 and further experienced solid year-on-year growth (100%) on the back of a strong shipment performance on its home turf.
Chart: Worldwide Tablet Vendors Market Share, 2012Q3Description: Worldwide Quarterly Tablet TrackerIDC's Worldwide Quarterly Tracker provides total market size and vendor share for both the Tablet and eReader markets in 46 countries. Detailed segmentation is provided by CPU, operating system, connectivity type, screen size and resolution, storage, distribution channel, and customer segment. Measurement for this tracker is in units, value, and end-user price. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or Further detail about this tracker can be found at: Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Asus, Lenovo, Tablet, IDC, tracker, Q3 2012, 3Q 2012, market share, galaxy, iPad, Kindle, Transformer, ideapad, 2012Q3Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

“Samsung took advantage of an opportunity in the second quarter,” said Ryan Reith, program manager at IDC’s Mobile Device Tracker service. “The company offers a wide range of tablet offerings across multiple screen sizes and colours, and that clearly resonated with more buyers this quarter. Its growth to 18.4% of worldwide market share during the quarter represents the first time a competitor has attained this level of share since the original launch of the iPad.”

Reith added: “Competitors are turning up the pressure on market leader Apple. With the recent introduction of a number of Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, consumers now have a third viable tablet platform from which to choose. However, price points are critical in tablets, and Microsoft and its partners will have a tough time winning a share of consumer wallet with price points starting at $500.”

In other tablet related news, Google recently launched both an upgrade to its well received Nexus 7 tablet, as well as a 10" Google Nexus 10 device that takes aim squarely at Apple’s iPad dominance.


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