Android Tablet market: Samsung and ASUS lead as Lenovo records biggest growth


SURGING FORWARD: The ASUS Android EE Tablet. ASUS is now second in Android tablet sales worldwide.
SURGING FORWARD: The ASUS Android EE Tablet. ASUS is now second in Android tablet sales worldwide.

Samsung sold the most number of Android tablets followed by ASUS while Lenovo recorded the most significant growth in market-share, according to from the International Data Corporation’s (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker released recently.

Samsung’s third quarter market-share grew to 20.4 per cent of the worldwide market after it sold 9.7 million tablets up from 4.3 million units in the same period in 2012 while ASUS shipped 3.5 million – accounting for 7.4 per cent market-share – up from 2.3 million sold in the third quarter of 2012.

Lenovo, which currently leads in the global PC market-share – moved into the number four tablet spot with shipments of 2.3 million units, translating into a 4.8 per cent of the global market.

Acer sold 1.2 million units and now has 2.5 per cent of the market while vendors from outside the top five were responsible for over one third of the shipments in 3Q13.

Tablets

IDC tracks dozens of tablet vendors, and this quarter “Others” represents a combination of major vendors (such as Amazon, Microsoft, HP, and Dell) and lesser-known, so-called white box vendors that typically sell ultra-low cost Android devices at often unsustainably low margins.

“With two 7.9-inch models starting at $299 and $399, and two 9.7-inch models starting at $399 and $499, Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst with IDC’s Tablet Tracker. “While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple’s ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status. It’s worth noting that Apple wasn’t the only one to increase the price of its small-sized tablet during this product cycle: Both Google and Amazon increased the price of their newest 7-inch tablets from $199 to $229 to cover the higher costs associated with high resolution screens and better processors.”

Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 47.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13) according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Apple’s iPad still maintained the first position in the global tablets market event though there were no new iPad models launched in the second or third quarter of 2013. Apple also experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in shipments from 14.6 million in quarter two 2013 to 14.1 million in quarter three 2013. Year over year, iPad shipments grew less than one percent.

“White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. “These low cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem. Android’s growth in tablets has been stunning to watch, but shipments alone won’t guarantee long-term success. For that you need a sustainable hardware business model, a healthy ecosystem for developers, and happy end users.”