According to preliminary data gathered by market watcher International Data Corporation’s (IDC (News - Alert)) worldwide quarterly tablet tracker, the worldwide shipments of tablets totaled 27.8 million units in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). As a result, the tablet market grew 49.5 percent year-over-year in 3Q12 and 6.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 (2Q12).
The report shows that shipments of Android based tablets were led by Samsung and Amazon. It surged during the quarter, at the expense of Apple (News - Alert), which saw its share slip notably during the third quarter.
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In a statement, Tom Mainelli, research director, tablets at IDC, said, "After a very strong second quarter, Apple saw growth slow as both consumer and commercial (including education) shipments declined, and rumors of a forthcoming iPad mini began to heat up."
He added, "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 (News - Alert) vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter."
The IDC study suggests that Apple's slowdown played a part in the company’s falling tablet market share, which slipped from 65.5 percent in 2Q12 to 50.4 in 3Q12. The remaining top five tablet vendors all gained shares during the quarter as a result. Most notable was the impressive quarter turned out by Samsung (News - Alert)—driven by its ever-growing portfolio of tablets. Samsung shipped 5.1 million tablets worldwide in 3Q12, up 115.0 percent from 2Q12. That’s an increase of 325.0 percent over 3Q11.
Besides Apple and Samsung, Amazon, ASUS, and Lenovo (News - Alert) were in IDC’s top five list.
Edited by Brooke Neuman