Apple outperforms IDC projections as it ships 19.5 million tabs in Q1

Apple Inc. ships nearly 20m tablets in Q1

Apple Inc. ships nearly 20m tablets in Q1

Not surprisingly, Apple Inc.’s iPad, the game-changing device, continues to dominate market with its latest version release – the iPad mini. The research firm IDC projected that Apple Inc. would sell approximately 18.7 million units in the first three months of 2013. However, the company posted robust sales of staggering 19.5 million units in spite of losing a large market share to competing Android tablets. While most analysts in this industry expected that sales would remain around IDC’s predicted numbers, Apple Inc. beat typical sluggish first-quarter sales in expectation of new product releases in the second quarter, by releasing its latest tablet version the iPad mini in the first quarter itself.

Interestingly, industry analysts deeply believe that the high volume of shipments in the period matched the strong sales of the iPad mini during holiday season due to high commercial shipments, sustaining the popularity of the latest Apple Inc.’s tablet device.

IDC research

According to IDC’s preliminary research estimates, though the first-quarter sales were higher than expectations, the company failed to match last years’ sales volumes.  In 2011-2012, Apple Inc. had nearly 60 percent of the market share. However, in the first quarter, sales of the iPads were variously challenged by a slew of top-quality Android devices.

Certainly, the ongoing change is painful for Apple Inc., especially taking into account that Samsung Electronics Co. posted explosive growth: from 11.3 percent to 17.9 percent.

In terms of actual sales of units, Apple Inc. saw its iPad sales climb staggering 65.3 percent in the first quarter. But in terms of growth, Samsung Electronics Co. continued to lead the tablet market segment with an astonishing 282 percent growth on a year-on-year basis.

Asus was quick to consolidate its position in the highly competitive tablet computing factor as it captured 5.5 percent of the market base. Interestingly, Amazon too posted a 3.7 percent sales growth, while Microsoft Corp. made to the top 5 tablet market segment with 1.8 percent sales.

Apple soars past IDC projections

Apple Inc. sold nearly 800,000 units over the expected number of units and interestingly not struggled with flat first-quarter sales thanks to re-strategizing. The iPad mini-series was moved to the first quarter largely because of all sales issues. However, when compared to the 100 percent market share it enjoyed a few years ago, the Android OS tablets have definitely established themselves in this segment.

No longer are they unfinished products but are functionally very competitive and definitely more aggressive in terms of pricing. Samsung Electronics Co. has posted nearly 200 percent and more growth largely due to these two factors.

Microsoft Corp. did not witness a highly-anticipated change in spite of new OS release, though it gained an entry into the Top 5 this quarter beginning with its Surface RT tablets and Surface Pro tablets shipment.

However, RIM continued its sour-grapes philosophy as it failed to capture the tablet market with its Playbook tablet a couple of years ago. According to its CEO, Thorsten Heins, technology will have no room for tablet form factor.

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Richard Meryn
Richard Meryn, Associate Editor Industry Leaders Magazine (www.industryleadersmagazine.com)

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