Industry Research Raised 2011 Tablet Sales Forecast

11 Jul

Industry Research International Data Corporation (IDC) raised Worldwide media tablet shipment forecast for 2011 to 53.5 million from 50.4 million, a 6% increase despite weak performance in 1Q11.

Worldwide media tablet shipments fell by 28% to 7.2 million units sequentially in 1Q11, due to some “seasonal trends” in mature markets. “Like the PC market, Media Tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Vice President, Clients and Displays. “We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges.”

The report noted that Apple continue to dominate the tablet market without disclosing the market share. However, according to the report, Apple’s shipments for 1Q11 were “well below expectations”, as there are “supply-chain hiccups on screens”, and the iPad2 was announced earlier then expected. I am sure that iPad will still be prominent in the market, but once the production hiccups exists, sales of iPad would really be hindered.

Android powered tablets grew 8.2 points sequentially to 34% in market share. The report indicated Samsung and Motorola has “found moderate success”, but commented that sales progress of the two were hindered because their tablets were mainly being distributed through carriers with contract.

IDC is still optimistic about the tablet market despite the performance in first quarter. “Although media tablet sales were not as high as expected in 1Q11 due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions, and supply-chain constraints, we believe with the entrance of competitive new devices in second half of 2011, the market will sell close to 53 million units for the year and continue to grow long-term,” said Jennifer Song, IDC Research Analyst.

As more new devices and platforms are coming, I am sure that the tablet market will keep on growing in a long run. There are few interesting devices coming, including the HP TouchPad, the first tablet with WebOS, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 announced earlier, as well as some other Android tablets. The presence of new iPad is still unknown, despite rumor has it that the iPad HD is coming soon.

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