Just a blip?
Market researcher IDC has revealed that the global number of tablets shipped into sales channels in Q1 was 7.2 million. This was below expectations and 28 percent down on the previous quarter.
IDC doesn't think this is indicative of a general cooling of demand for tablets, noting sequential decline in Q1 is a seasonal norm, and that the PC market also struggled in Q1 due to macroeconomic concerns. In fact IDC is more bullish on tablets than ever, raising its shipments projection for the whole of this year from 50.4 to 53.5 million units.
"Like the PC market, Media Tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand," said Bob O'Donnell, IDC VP of clients and displays. "We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges."
That last bit is consistent with general observations that people are largely buying Wi-Fi tablets, preferring not to shell-out the extra £100 for an overpriced 3G chip, let alone commit to yet another lengthy mobile phone contract.
While the report says Apple continues to dominate the tablet market, it also notes that Android's market share grew 8.2 percentage points to 34 percent. Another analyst, however, was reported by All Things D as observing that even Android smartphone users are more likely to buy an iPad than an Android tablet, and predicted Apple dominance of the tablet market for at least another couple of years.