Editor’s note: As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.
With tablets dominating tech spend in the run up to Christmas, it’s perhaps no surprise sales of the touchy-feely form factor more than doubled in final quarter of 2012.
Tablet shipments rose by 116 percent year on year to 64 million in the three months ending Dec. 31, according to the analyst firm FutureSource, propelling the annual total to 136 million.
FutureSource attributes the jump in sales to the increase in smaller, cheaper tablets, with the iPad Mini leading the way, helping Apple Inc. to remain the market leader.
Limited supply of the seven-inch offering put a dent in its figure though, leading to missed opportunities, according to the consultancy.
Amazon.com Inc. maintained what FutureSource describes as a “comfortable market share” with its smaller Kindle Fire HD offering, while the lower-priced Android tablets fueled demand for units by Asus Computer International Inc. as well as Google Inc.’s Nexus 7 device.
Microsoft Corp.’s Surface tablet running Windows RT experienced “challenging sales,” but FutureSource expects the second iteration, the Surface Pro, to reverse the poor figures.
“The heightened demand for smaller and cheaper-priced tablets continues to impact the average retail price,” a FutureSource spokesperson said. “Despite this price erosion, the overall value of the tablet market will continue to climb and prospects for the industry are extremely positive, with strong growth throughout the forecast period to 2016.”
Research from technology market intelligence firm ABI Research predicts the number of tablet shipments in 2013 will hit the 146 million mark as businesses move to adopt the devices.
The firm predicts that this year will see business interest in tablet devices grow by 19 percent as more OEMs unveil workplace tablets.
For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk
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