Worldwide Tablet Shipments – First out of the Blocks

Very rapidly, after Apple announced its results on Tuesday (post Wall Street’s close), Strategy Analytics  today were the first to come up with their Global Tablet Shipments by Operating System for the quarter.

Interestingly they also allow us to calculate a total including White-box tablets. This figure at 47.6 million is some 7 million above the branded figure. They define “A white-box tablet” as “…. a product produced by one company (the manufacturer or ODM) that other companies (the vendors or OEMs) rebrand to make it appear as if they made it. White box tablets invariably use different components to branded tablet in order to keep costs to a minimum.” (ODM stands for Original Design Manufacturer).

Whichever global total figure is used it certainly confirms the strength of the market. The bumper holiday Quarter 4 figures (per IDC) were some 52.5 million so the drop this quarter is only 23% (on the branded figure). The equivalent figure in 2012 was 42%.

Apple can take some pleasure in increasing its market share to 48% v’s around 43% in the previous quarter.

Microsoft at least warrants a mention and might even creep into the top 5 in supplier terms with its Surface we shall see when the other estimates are released. Strategy Analytics also think it has some way to go as “Very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and confusion in the market, are all holding back shipments.”

 In other news earlier this month IDC  reported an exceptionally weak PC market with shipments down by 13.9% on the comparable quarter last year. This brings them down to 76.3 million which on Strategy Analytics Tablet estimates means the gap has narrowed again. We will report further on this when IDC release their Tablet estimates but it looks as if Tablet sales could overtake PCs in 2015 and it could be even earlier!

In completely unrelated news IHS iSuppli estimate that worldwide shipments of 10 million smart glasses by 2016 could take place. We shall see!

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