iPad-led tablet boom benefits everyone but Acer

Apple, Samsung and Asus have all seen growth in shipments and market share over the last year, but IDC figures indicate a much tougher fight for Acer

Worldwide tablet shipments increased by two-thirds over the last year, with the market booming for most but not all major manufacturers, statistics from IDC have shown.

The analyst house said on Thursday that around 25 million tablets shipped in the second quarter of this year, 66 percent up from around 15 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Unsurprisingly, the figures show Apple's iPads to be far in the lead, with 17 million tablets shipped in the quarter for a 68.2-percent market share — up from 9.2 million tablets and a 61.5-percent share a year earlier.

Apple iPad
Worldwide tablet shipments increased by two-thirds over the last year. Image credit: CNET News

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," IDC research director Tom Mainelli said in a statement.

Mainelli pointed out that the iPad was getting increasing amounts of interest from vertical markets such as education. He added that a slight slowdown in iPad growth in mature markets was being offset by "growth in other regions".

Samsung also saw growth: sales up from 1.1 million to 2.4 million, and market share up from 7.3 percent to 9.6 percent.

Amazon now has five percent of the market with its Kindle Fire — given that the device is so far only available in the US, this shows yet again just how successful it is there. Annual growth cannot be calculated, as the device only came out just before Christmas.

Asus saw moderate growth, with shipments more than doubling to reach 855,000 units in Q2, for a 3.4-percent share. That share is likely to be much bigger next time round, given the launch of the Nexus 7 .

However, Acer's shipments dropped from 629,000 to 385,000, and its market share fell from 4.2 percent to 1.5 percent.

Competitive market

IDC did not address this fall, but the firm did note that the market was about to become even more competitive with the imminent launch of the Kindle Fire's successor, Windows 8 tablets and probably another iPad. It also seemed to suggest that Apple would benefit from increased competition.

"If anything, there's a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season," IDC vice president Bob O'Donnell said. "Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle."