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Market melee key to tablet market dev't, says report

Posted: 10 Aug 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nexus 7? iPad? Surface? Kindle Fire?

According to a recent forecast by Digitimes, poor global economic growth has made a more significant impact on the global market for branded tablets than previously predicted.

Digitimes Research has remained conservative about the prospects for the period, with half-year shipments projected to reach 49.18 million units and whole-year shipments being revised downward to 88.69 million units; the ratio of shipments between the first and second halves of the year is estimated to be 45:55.

The research firm has predicted that the ranks of competitors in the tablet market will experience enormous changes in 2012. The market situation has shifted from a situation where mobile phone and PC vendors went against Apple into a melee between Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple. The free for all between the industry's giants will be important to the emergence of the industry during the second half of 2012.

Global Tablet Shipment forecasts for major brands, 1H10-2H12(m units)

During the first half of 2012, iPad 2 Shipments reached 12 million units. Apple's sales of the iPad 2 and the launch of Google's Nexus 7 in the third quarter have already left a significant impact on other tablet manufacturers. These events will soon be followed by the launch of Amazon's next-gen 7-inch tablet and Microsoft's Surface. There are also reports of a possible move by Apple to launch a smaller version of the iPad, dubbed the iPad Mini, as well as a revamped version of its main iPad model.

While Android has overtaken iOS as the largest platform in the smartphone market, it has been far less successful in the tablet sector, with OEM partners dropping out with each successive quarter, and the launch of the Kindle Fire in fourth-quarter 2011 also took a further slice of the potential opportunities for developing low-end tablets running official Android.

Figures from Digitimes show that shipments of branded tablets running official Android began to stagnate from the second quarter of 2011, with quarterly shipments failing to break the four-million barrier. In October 2011, just six million Android tablets had been activated, highlighting the fact that sales of Android tablets from brand vendors have been far from ideal.

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