Tablet Sales Decline – Apple Drops to 54% market share

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9 Jun, 2011 10:39 am

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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 to iPad and 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.

Via NetbookNews.de source DisplaySearch


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  • Anonymous

    yeah after a while the appeal of having a giant smartphone seems to go wear off when people find out they can’t really do much on it. I am hoping legitimate tablets with touch and wacom digitizers come back in vogue all the tablets that are actually useful seem overpriced for the limited specs they have; the non-removable batteries kill it for me on most of them  (Acer W500). I am hoping some time that Asus releases an update on the Asus EP121 with a sandybridge processor and a removable battery I’d sort of like a tablet version of the Asus X101 if they could sell it for $300.

  • Sam Trenholme

    The think I just don’t get is the appeal of the tablet over the netbook.  I find the netbook form factor the perfect size for a PC; the keyboard allows real work to be done and getting rid of that keyboard makes it a lot less useful.

    In the 1990s, I saw a lot of companies slavishly following everything Microsoft did, which was foolish (for example, making an IE6-only web page); now I see a lot of companies slavishly following everything Apple does, which is just as foolish (making a “me too” tablet no one wants)

    As an aside, it currently is not possible to buy a Thinkpad x120e at Lenovo’s web site (it wasn’t possible to buy a S10-3 a few days ago, but that has since been fixed); there was a four-week wait before the laptop was pulled from Lenovo’s site.  It costs about $120 more to buy it from an Amazon reseller ($570 as opposed to $450 for the E-350 model) 

  • sola

    I believe future tablets should move to the modular approach to become really successful (like the AI Smartbook, Atrix…etc).

    You should have a smartphone which can be inserted into a tablet sleeve which has extra batterry and possibly slide-out keyboard.

    A tablet sleeve in the form factor of the ASUS Slider would be the best option.

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