Canalys: Amazon needs to release more powerful Kindle Fire replacement

Tablets continue to boost PC shipment sales worldwide, but the leaders at the top of the market are starting to shuffle.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

We could expect to see some record PC shipments this year aong with a shuffle of the leaders at the top of the computer industry throughout 2012, according to global insights firm Canalys.

The positive outlook comes after some outstanding figures for the industry for shipments of both PCs and tablets.

Total client PC shipments worldwide rose 12 percent year-over-year in Q2 2012 to nearly 109 million units. Specifically, total tablet shipments for the quarter increased by a whopping 75 percent to 24 million units, representing 22 percent of all PCs.

The tablet shipments likely gave a significant boost to Apple, which found itself at the top of the heap by the end of the quarter with 19.4 percent of the market share and more than 21 million units shipped during the second quarter. That is also a 59.6 percent increase from the same time frame last year.

But Apple isn't the only force to be reckoned with in the tablet space anymore. Samsung doubled the number of Galaxy Tab shipments compared to a year ago, and Acer made the biggest gains this quarter, making it the third largest tablet vendor worldwide.

However, Canalys research analyst Pin Chen Tang warned that Amazon, in particular, can't relax so easily.

"Amazon must now launch a more powerful replacement for the Kindle Fire, and expand internationally, or see its pad business fail," Tang said, adding that Canalys estimates that shipments of the Kindle Fire were below 500,000 in Q2 -- down significantly compared to previous quarters.

Out of the top five vendors, only Lenovo saw a positive change in market share and shipments. The Chinese PC company placed third with 12.1 percent of shipments in Q2 2012, which was a 27 percent positive point change.

Also in the top five were HP, Acer and Dell -- all of which saw shipment declines on a year-over-year basis. There are definitely a few factors at play here, but Canalys researchers point primarily towards poor numbers for Windows PC shipments -- likely as many customers wait for Windows 8.

Ultrabooks have not hit the price points that could excite large numbers of buyers and the share of the overall market taken by Windows fell to a new low of 73 percent. Intel’s share also hit an all-time low, falling below 70 percent. But against this dark background there were some bright points. Lenovo continued to gain share, thanks to a strong home market, a focus on emerging markets and increased attention to the consumer category overall. Acer improved too, compared to a terrible Q2 a year ago.

Like nearly everything else in the tech industry these days, analysts also cited economic trouble in the Eurozone. But interestingly, Canalys suggested that "improved brand awareness through its Olympics sponsorship should translate into increased sales in the second half of the year."

Image via Canalys

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