Larger Apple Tablet Market Share Reported

DisplaySearch  released, on Thursday of last week, the preliminary results of their Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report covering  Q4 of 2011. They have included, this time, a separate table for the Worldwide Top Five Tablet PC Shipment Rankings by Brand. Using their data we have taken the liberty of estimating (which inevitably will create, at least, some rounding discrepancies!) Other and Total tablet shipments.

They clearly state that “Apple shipments include units for sell through and inventory”  which probably, largely explains the difference between their 18.6m and Apples reported 15.4m (15,434k) as per their SEC filing. No doubt their other supplier figures are calculated on a comparable basis. The difference of over 20% is likely partially due to the rapidly expanding sales figures and also the holiday season. It is repeated in % terms (in fact exceeded) on the shipments  of Mac portables of 4.6m as against Apples reported figure 3.7m (3,719k). This inventory upside/increase can of course reverse in future quarters with shipments being less than sales.

Comparing the overall statistics with those already published by Strategy Analytics  and IHS/iSuppli  Apples market share is stated to be between  59.1% (DisplaySearch) and 56.9% (IHS/iSuppli). It also looks as if Barnes & Noble / ASUS have swapped 4th & 5th places compared to IHS/iSuppli.

As an example of how certain statistics might be interpreted we noticed the results of a UK poll recently carried out by Broadgenie  concerning tablet purchase intentions. The question & results were:

Will you buy a tablet PC in 2012?

  • Definitely not 30%
  • Already own 27.5%
  • Yes, top end 17.5%
  • Maybe 16.5%
  • Budget 8.5%

It’s an online poll, hence we guess the comparatively high number of tablet owners.


So the almost opposing statements that could be made based on these result are:

  1. Less than 1 in 10 consumers interested in buying a budget tablet PC
  2. 7 out of 10 consumers either own or probably want a tablet.

etc etc The poll seems to have moved on a bit now but we have to admit having voted, at least once, as a Budget buyer ‘cos we want a Kindle Fire!

Whilst talking about polls we are thinking of compiling an equivalent to a “Poll of polls” on tablet shipment estimates as (a) it is a comparatively new and (b) exciting market,. Our preliminary criteria would, at present, likely exclude DisplaySearch from inclusion as they have not published discrete tablet unit shipment/sale estimates/actuals by supplier for at least 2 quarters.

One of the advantages, we think, of an “estimate of estimates” (working title) publication of tablet shipments would be a referable source for historic market information.


We will report back!

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