Q4-2012 Tablet Market Skyrocketed: 64 Million Units Shipped

Q4-2012 Tablet Market Skyrocketed: 64 Million Units Shipped

Global tablet sales reached 64 million units in Q4 2012, representing quarterly growth of nearly 100% and year-on-year growth of 119%, according to the latest industry research from Futuresource Consulting.

“The Q4 period accounted for nearly half of all tablet sales last year, culminating in total sales of 136 million units for 2012,” says Arun Gill, Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “This clearly demonstrates the impact that tablet devices are having on consumers’ spending habits and lifestyle choices, as the category continues to push through the roof.”

Competitively, Apple remained the market leader and experienced high demand for the new 7 inch iPad, although limited supply capacity did result in some missed opportunities.

Samsung saw success with a range of new tablets in 2012, particularly the competitively-priced Galaxy Tab 2. The release of the Nexus 10 in collaboration with Google may help to challenge Apple’s dominance in sales of larger-screened tablets.

Amazon capitalised on increasing demand for smaller tablets and retained a comfortable market share with the release of its Kindle Fire HD.

Asus’ and Google’s Nexus 7 also gained from increasing demand for smaller tablets. The high sales volumes reflected the assault that cheaper Android tablets are making on Apple’s market share.

Microsoft saw challenging sales following the release of its flagship Surface tablet running Windows 8 RT, though the upcoming release of the Surface Pro is expected to help turn this around.

The heightened demand for smaller and cheaper-priced tablets continues to impact the average retail price. Despite this price erosion, the overall value of the tablet market will continue to climb and prospects for the industry are extremely positive, with strong growth throughout the forecast period to 2016.


Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments.

Source: Futuresource Consulting

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