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Android tablet and smartphone shipments surge

Aug 8, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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During the second quarter of 2013, shipments of Android tablets doubled those of iOS, with 62.6 percent worldwide market share, according to IDC, while DigiTimes expects Android tablets to out-ship iOS models for the first time in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, IDC reports that Android smartphone sales rose to 79.3 percent of the worldwide market, or six times the Q2 share of iOS.

Only two years ago, Apple’s iPad was so superior to Android tablets in firmware, and to a lesser extent, hardware, that many observers believed iOS would hold a market share advantage for the foreseeable future. With the advent of Android 4.x, however, and the market pressures of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, and many even cheaper no-name clones sold worldwide, Android has caught up in a hurry. Only recently has Apple launched a smaller form-factor tablet in its iPad Mini, having previously ceded that market to Android, and so far the Mini has seen only marginal gains.

The Android pressure is continuing, with Google’s mostly open source, Linux-based OS showing 162.9 percent year-over-year growth to rise to a worldwide tablet market share of 62.6 percent, according to IDC’s 2Q report from its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker study. By comparison, Apple fell 14.1 percent to 32.5 percent, or about half of the Android share.
 


Top Tablet OS Shipments and Market Shares — Q2 2013
(shipments in millions — source: IDC)

2Q13 Unit Shipments 2Q13 Market Share 2Q12 Unit Shipments 2Q12 Market Share Year-over-Year Growth
Android 28.2 62.6% 10.7 38.0% 162.9%
iOS 14.6 32.5% 17.0 60.3% -14.1%
Windows 1.8 4.0% 0.3 1.0% 527.0%
Windows RT 0.2 0.5% N/A N/A N/A
BlackBerry OS 0.1 0.3% 0.2 0.7% -32.8%
Others 0.1 0.2% N/A N/A N/A
TOTAL 45.1 100.0% 28.3 100.0% 59.6%

 

The fastest growing tablet OS, however, was Windows, which grew 527 percent to a third-place 4.0 percent share. Toss in the 0.5 percent share for the struggling ARM-based Windows RT tablets, and Microsoft’s share rose to 4.5 percent, way ahead of BlackBerry’s 0.3 percent.

Worldwide tablet shipments fell 9.7 percent in 2Q compared to the first quarter, says IDC. It notes, however, that the 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter was up 59.6 percent from the same quarter in 2012, when 28.3 million devices shipped.
 


 

IDC suggests that the 4Q report could reveal a slowing of the Android trend, as the next-generation iPad 5 reaches market. In fact, Apple might have done much better if it had released its new iPad in the second quarter as per usual. The fact that Apple has delayed its release until the fall has even helped slow the tablet market in general, says IDC.

“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” stated Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets, at IDC. “With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”

Apple led the relative slowdown in 2Q, but second and third place Android vendors Samsung (18 percent) and Asus (4.5 percent) showed lesser relative dips. Still, they showed year-over-year growth rates of 277 percent and 120.3 percent respectively. Lenovo showed the fastest increase to 3.3 percent, and Acer also did quite well, rising to 3.1 percent.
 

DigiTimes predicts strong second half for tablets

IDC did not make any projections on second-half tablet growth, but DigiTimes Research projects that worldwide tablet shipments are expected to reach 82.07 million units in the second half, up 17.7 percent “on year.” According to its more conservative estimates for Android, non-iOS tablets will cumulatively beat iOS for the first time in 2H 2013. Other estimates from other research firms have shown Android alone surpassing iOS as early as last fall.



DigiTimes Global Tablet Shipments Trend
(click image to enlarge)

 

Other 2H 2013 tablet projections from DigiTimes include:

  • Non-iPad tablet shipments will surpass those of the iPad, with Android representing over half of global sales.
  • Apple’s shipments in the second half may drop to 37 million units with on-year growth of 3 percent. This is said to be due to a delay of the updated Retina-display iPad Mini to year’s end due to fears that it might cut into sales of the upcoming iPad 5.
  • Android will “strongly impact” closed Android platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire “due to lack of key application support.”
  • Price cuts won’t help Windows tablets, which will only account for 3.8 percent of 2H shipments.
  • Taiwan vendor tablet share will drop to 70 percent thanks to growth from Samsung and Lenovo. Smaller tablets will do better than larger tablets, and will account for 70 percent of total 2H shipments.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon processors now drive the new Nexus 7 and the third-generation Kindle Fire HD. As a result, it will become the largest CPU supplier of the non-Apple camp. MediaTek will grow to become the second largest chip supplier, followed by Samsung, and somewhat surprisingly, Intel, projects DigiTimes.

 

IDC: Android keeps surging on smartphones

Considering the popularity and name recognition of Apple’s still popular iPhone in the States, the average American is often surprised when you suggest that Android phones dominate worldwide smartphone sales. Yet, even the Android faithful may blink their eyes at the latest market research data. In IDC’s 2Q 2013 smartphone report within its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker study, the research firm projects that Android now has six times the market share of Apple’s number two mobile OS, with 79.3 percent compared to 13.2 percent.
 


Top Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share — Q3 2013
(units in millions — source: IDC)

2Q13 Unit Shipments 2Q13 Market Share 2Q12 Unit Shipments 2Q12 Market Share Year-over-Year Change
Android 187.4 79.3% 108 69.1% 73.5%
iOS 31.2 13.2% 26 16.6% 20.0%
Windows Phone 8.7 3.7% 4.9 3.1% 77.6%
BlackBerry OS 6.8 2.9% 7.7 4.9% -11.7%
Linux 1.8 0.8% 2.8 1.8% -35.7%
Symbian 0.5 0.2% 6.5 4.2% -92.3%
Others N/A 0.0% 0.3 0.2% -100.0%
TOTAL 236.4 100.0% 156.2 100.0% 51.3%

 

Apple still grew at a healthy 20 percent, but its relatively slow 2Q numbers are linked in part to the iPhone’s yearly cycle. Apple is expected to rebound in the fourth quarter when a new model is expected to appear.

Android’s 73.5 percent increase year over year was bested only by Windows Phone at 77.6 percent, although Microsoft’s share is still at a paltry 3.7 percent, according to IDC. All other mobile OSes are fading, including Blackberry, down to 2.9 percent, and Symbian dropping in freefall to 0.2 percent.

Interestingly, Linux is still on the list, down 35.7 percent to 0.8 percent. Considering that the new wave of mobile Linux contenders have yet to reach market, HP is presumably still selling off its inventory of WebOS phones. Mozilla’s Firefox OS phones missed the second quarter, reaching only a few markets in mid-July.

Overall, vendors shipped a total of 236.4 million smartphones in 2Q13. This is up 51.3 percent from the 156.2 million units shipped in 2Q12, says IDC.
 


 

IDC also broke down the Android and Windows markets by vendor in separate comparisons. Korean Galaxy maker Samsung continued to blow away the Android competition with its 39.1 percent share, beating Korea’s LG (6.5 percent) and China’s Lenovo (11.4 percent). However, its 52.7 growth rate is less than half that of these vendors, whose smartphone sales grew at 108.6 percent and 132.7 percent respectively. The growth rate for the next two vendors on the list — China’s Huawei and ZTE, both at 5.4 percent — was only slightly higher than that of Samsung.

One would expect LG to continue its gains later this year on the strength of this week’s introduction of the LG G2, which is based on Qualcomm’s powerhouse Snapdragon 800 processor. However, shipments are often swayed more by mid-range Android smartphones as they are by marquee devices. It will be interesting to see if Google’s Motorola — once a leader in the Android smartphone market – will return to the list. It has a long way to go, but a half-billion dollar marketing campaign for its Moto X and other new models might help.
 

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