The guys over at Display Search always put out reports that we think give real indications of what types of devices are actually hitting the streets. They have just released the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report which has produced some interesting data about the spread of Tablets netbooks and notebooks in the first quarter terms.
Whitebox (local or non-branded) vendors are the fastest growing segment of the worldwide tablet market with 44% of them being Chinese manufacturers. These brandless companies are moving aggressively into the tablet space increasing shipments from 567K units in Q4’10 to 1.9M units in Q1’11, which is a 235% growth rate. With this massive increase in lower quality tablets entering the market its a clear sign that the category is gaining mainstream momentum. Over the past year Apple was the main player in the game capturing nearly the whole market, this year however things have changed. Apple still remains the leader in the tablet PC market with a 54% share, however whitebox tablet PC market is rising fast an is holding nearly a 20% share in Q1’11.
What we find interesting here is in the left column, notably the change from the last year where the tablets volumes have actually declined from last quarter. Ofcourse over all sales year to year are still sky high, the category was newly born! The cheap alternative toand Co are a good indicator that there is a very large layer of potential buyers that are not willing to pay a premium for their devices. Also clearly visible is the netbooks position entering into 2011, our favorite little mobile computer is actually experiencing an increase in sales from last quarter – apparently the dead keep living.
This is great news for Apple: Despite the number of low-cost devices they are still the market leader in this market segment. However they went from having a monopoly on the market segment to only 54%. Its early in the year so its too soon to tell how they market share will even out, but with the aggressive influx of Chinese Whitebox manufacturers on the market and the success of the Color Nook, we can see that there is a demand for tablets that are more affordable then even Apple is offering.