The Apple iPad has hit its lowest market share at 35.5 percent of global tablet shipments, pushing 14.6 million units in the second quarter compared to 19.5 million in the previous quarter.
According to figures released Thursday by WitsView, global shipments for 7-inch tablets 1024x600 WSVGA resolution dipped 12.4 percent to reach 41.1 million units in second-quarter 2013. The research firm attributed the drop to seasonal purchase, generation movements for some mainstream products, and inventory adjustments amid weakening sales. WitsView is TrendForce's display research division.
Its research director Eric Chiou said in a statement that Apple, which had dominated the tablet market, saw its 9.7-inch iPad entering the end of lifecycle in the second quarter. With the introduction of the iPad mini in November last year and impacts from the company's inventory adjustments, Apple's tablet shipment fell some 25.1 percent to 14.6 million units in the quarter, marking a record low market share of 35.5 percent.
Samsung saw better results in the quarter, clocking a higher market share of 21.5 percent, up from 20.2 percent. While it saw a slight dip in shipment to 8.8 million units, its newly launched 8-inch model helped boost its quarter shipment.
PC makers Asus and Acer saw quarter-on-quarter growths of 60 percent and 36 percent, respectively, with their core products in the under-US$130 7-inch category. Their stellar results were helped by price-cutting strategy, said WitsView.
Pointing to Amazon and Google, Chiou noted these two "long-term winners" of the entry-level tablet segment saw less-than-stellar results, registering shipment of only 1.1 million and 0.9 million units, respectively.
The research firm expects third-quarter global shipment to reach 49.6 million units, growing 21 percent quarter-on-quarter. It cited improve specs and attractive prices as growth drivers for the market, and also noted Amazon's expected annual launch of a 7-inch model as well as the second-generation Nexus 7. It added that several models were expected to be launched in the third quarter including Apple's generation 5 iPad and new 10.1-inch Android tablets by PC makers.
For the year, tablet shipments are projected to reach 196.5 million units, 153.2 million of which will be brand tablets while 43.3 million will comprise whitebox tablets.