A Strong Holiday Quarter for the Worldwide Tablet Market, But Signs of Slower Growth Are Clear, According to IDC

SAN MATEO, Calif.--()--Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 76.9 million units in the fourth calendar quarter of 2013 (4Q13) according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. The total represents 62.4% growth over the previous quarter and 28.2% growth over the same period a year ago. While the market's growth rates remain impressive, they're down dramatically compared to the year-over-year rates of the same quarter one year ago (87.1%) and indicate a significant slowing of the overall market.

For the full calendar year 2013, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million units, which is up from 144.2 million units for the full year 2012 and represents a year-over-year growth rate of 50.6%.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, at IDC. "We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond."

Apple once again led the worldwide market for tablets, shipping 26 million units during the quarter, up from 14.1 million the previous quarter and 22.9 million in 4Q12. While the quarter represented the company's most successful on record, its year-over-year growth of 13.5% was well below the industry average. The numbers bring into focus the challenges the company faces as it attempts to grow its tablet business in markets outside of its traditional mature-market strongholds and in the face of continued success from competitors both large and small.

Apple saw its worldwide tablet market share for the quarter grow to 33.8%, up from 29.7% in the third quarter but down from its 38.2% share in the fourth quarter of 2012. Samsung retained its second-place spot on the strength of a wide portfolio of products and increased carrier support in markets like the U.S., grabbing an 18.8% share worldwide. That's down slightly from 18.9% the previous quarter, but up significantly from its 13% share a year ago. Rounding out the top five were Amazon (7.6%), ASUS (5.1%), and Lenovo (4.4%).

"Lenovo’s access to the Chinese whitebox manufacturing infrastructure has helped it drive more low-priced tablet products into the market, growing its share from just 1.3% in the same quarter last year," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "The company's strength in emerging markets, and its increased market share in adjoining markets such as PCs and smartphones, makes it well positioned to see additional tablet gains in 2014."

Top Five Tablet Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Fourth Quarter 2013 (Shipments in millions)

 
Vendor    

4Q13 Unit
Shipments

   

4Q13 Market
Share

   

4Q12 Unit
Shipments

   

4Q12 Market
Share

   

Year-over-
Year Growth

Apple     26.0     33.8 %     22.9     38.2 %     13.5 %
Samsung     14.5     18.8 %     7.8     13.0 %     85.9 %
Amazon.com Inc.     5.8     7.6 %     5.9     9.9 %     -1.7 %
Asus     3.9     5.1 %     3.1     5.1 %     25.8 %
Lenovo     3.4     4.4 %     0.8     1.3 %     325.0 %
Others     23.3     30.3 %     19.5     32.5 %     19.5 %
Total     76.9     100.0 %     60     100.0 %     28.2 %

Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, January 29, 2014.

 

Table Note: Year-over-year growth calculations are based on preliminary shipment data and may vary from estimates based on rounded figures above.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide market share for the top 5 tablet vendors over the previous five quarters is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. Since 1964, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

Contacts

IDC
Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Jitesh Ubrani, 416-673-2214
jubrani@idc.com
or
Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
rreith@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com

Release Summary

Worldwide tablet shipments grew 28.2% year over year to 76.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to preliminary data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

Sharing

Contacts

IDC
Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Jitesh Ubrani, 416-673-2214
jubrani@idc.com
or
Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
rreith@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com