Although tablet sales seem to always rise, the second quarter of 2013 saw a decrease in the number of units shipped. Worldwide, the number of tablets shipped 2013Q2, 45.1 million, is up 59 percent from the same time period in 2012. However, it is a 9.7 percent drop from the 1st quarter of 2013.
Apple dropped from 19.5 to 14.6 million units, while Samsung went from 8.6 down to 8.1 million. Lenovo managed to ship 1.5 million devices in the second quarter, a more than 300 percent increase from last year at the same time. Estimates for Microsoft’s Surface tablets are 2 million shipped Q2. Most disappointed has to be Blackberry, only 100,000 tablets shipped.
As seen in the graph, Apple’s market share was around 60 percent 2012Q2, while in 2013Q2 it has dropped to about 32 percent. The growth rate for ipads dropped 14 percent from 2012 to 2013, while the other top 4 sellers had increases of 120 percent or more during the same time frame.
So why the overall drop? Some analysts believe the lack of a new iPad to be the cause, apparently everyone buys new tablets when a new iPad arrives. Others are of the opinion that tablets may be somewhat saturating the market. Buyers may be getting into a frame of mind where you keep a tablet for longer, until something really much better comes out, instead of paying for incremental advances.
Eventually tablets will get to the point where they can do mostly everything a person could want them to, from a technological view. Then it’s a choice whether you want the latest and greatest(and more expensive) tablet available, or stick with the device you have that works just fine. This has already happened in the PC market, and may occur with tablets, also. Whether or not these latest numbers are the beginning of a slowdown in tablet sales, or just a quarterly blip, remains to be seen.