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Analysts blame Apple & missing iPad 5 as tablet shipments take a tumble

by Doug Drinkwater

August 5 2013

Despite falling shipments, Apple remains the main player in the tablet market
Despite falling shipments, Apple remains the main player in the tablet market

Worldwide tablet shipment growth slowed down in the second quarter and that’s down in part of Apple, according to new research report.

Reporting the preliminary results from its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, IDC reveals that total volumes fell 9.7% from Q1 but stressed that the figure of 45.1 million units was still 59.6% higher than tablet shipments this time last year (28.3 million units).

The research firm attributed this fall in part to Apple’s tablet plans. The Cupertino firm has traditionally launched a new tablet in the second quarter but with the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini apparently still in the pipework, IDC says that Apple’s shipments dropped from 19.5 million units to 14.6 million on a quarterly basis.

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

"With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market."

Apple wasn’t the only vendor to suffer though as tablet demand dried up. Samsung stayed in second place but saw shipments fall from 8.6 million units to 8.1 million sequentially, while Asus fell from 2.6 million units to 2.0 million units, a sign perhaps that the firm was slowing down orders to concentrate on the new Nexus 7.

There was better news for Lenovo and Acer, who both re-entered the top five of the tablet market. Lenovo shipped 1.5 million tablets – the first time it shipped over a million tablets in a quarter – while Acer rose 247.9% year-on-year to 1.4 million tablets.

"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," said Ryan Reith, who is program manager for IDC’s mobility tracker programs.

"Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run. To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market."

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