Tablette Cafes, Nook discounts & Apple’s WWDC

With some help from Google Medoune Secke has set up they claim the first Tablet Café in the world in Dakar in Senegal.

Whilst it may not be the first, it’s, we think, a compelling concept for the African continent and possibly many other parts of the developing world. Affordability is key and compared to PC’s power outages are potentially less catastrophic.

The Dakar Equinoxe “… now sports 15 tablets and has installed cabins for private video chats, while a corner of the cafe is given over to a shop selling various items of electronic equipment.Three PCs remain enthroned on boxes near a wall, but they do not generate much interest among clients, who recline on the cafe’s bright orange and blue sofas, jabbing at their touch screens. Seck says his tablets cost more than PCs but they save on power bills as they consume 25 times less electricity.”

“Upon arrival, customers hand over an ID card and pay in advance for a set connection time before they are given a tablet. When they leave the device is reset, wiping out any data from their session, and it is ready fot the next customer. The Tablette Cafe charges the same price as its predecessor did for PCs: 300 CFA francs (60 euro cents, 80 US cents) per hour.”

“Our hope is that cyber cafes attract new customers interested in a more simple and interactive way of going online, and make significant savings on their number one operating expense: electricity,” Alex Grouet, Google’s business development manager in Francophone Africa, said in a blog post.

Meanwhile both over there and over here Nook are heavily discounting their tablets for the Fathers Day Fest the HD (7inch) is down $70 at $129 and £30 at £129, and the 10 inch HD+ is down $120 at $149 and £50 at £179 (all figures are “from”).


Apple meanwhile has it’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week from 10-14 June in San Francisco but few if any iPad announcements are expected and most envisage an Ive driven iOS 7 upgrade and some music announcements with the possiblity of an iRadio service. We shall see. We love the logo!



Source: Tablette Café – AFP

7 inch tablets win the size battle!

Two further, widely differing, estimates of quarter 1 shipments appeared yesterday from Canalys and Digitimes.

The only recurring numerical trend in the majority of the estimates and our average, we can identify, is the figure 9 with Strategy Analytics being the exception! They currently compensate by being the closest to our average!

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Canalys bundle their mobile devices including Tablets Smartphones and Notebooks, and the total of 308.7  breaks down as follows (in millions):

  • Smartphones –  216.3
  • Netbooks – 50.5
  • Tablets – 41.9

Digitimes simply provide the figures so we’ve created our own little table and incorporated, as ever, a few deductions, primarily from their percentages.

The fascinating figures we think are the breakdown by screen sizes.

At 56% of their total this means that nearly 18 million 7’s were shipped. As the iPad (maxi) is likely virtually all of the 10’s this means that their 7’s came in at something like 13 million so we have a mini to maxi iPad scenario of 66.6% to 33.3% which is even higher than we imagined.

With Google, ala mainly Nexus 7, performing strongly in third place Appleinsider have news of a likely  upgrade coming out next week ahead of the rumoured iPad mini version 2 being delayed until the third quarter.

The tablet wars continue but the size battle, for now, seems to have been won by the 7!

Apple tablet market share below 40% again

IDC yesterday released their preliminary estimates for the first quarter of the year and whilst not really containing any surprises they do confirm the markets tremendous strength. Samsung in particular remarkably managed to actually grow its shipments against the last (seasonal) quarter whilst Amazon did not! Microsoft are making a little progress but Barnes & Noble continue to struggle.

In spite of Apple’s impressive shipments in Q1 which exceeded most estimates their market share at 39.6% which is the third consecutive quarter that they have ever been below 40%. In our view this simply reflects the incredibly competitive market place.

In operating system terms Microsoft with Windows are again making progress rising to third position but with only a 3.7% market share have a way to go to compete with iOS (39.6%) and Android (56.5%).

We’ve updated our average chart and eagerly await any further participants estimates!

Gartner are predicting that by 2017 a majority of companies will have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy  which primarily means tablets and/or smartphones and this can only help establish the tablet market, This may possibly favour Microsoft to a limited extent, in our view.

In geographic terms Gartner found that US enterprises are twice as likely to allow BYOD as European ones who have the lowest adoption rate internationally in regional terms, lagging India China and Brazil.

The IDC shipment estimate at 49.2 million is only just shy of our, sort of prediction that they might just reach 50 million this quarter so 200 million for the year is more than a distinct possibility. Last year on certain IDC figures Q! represented around 16% of the years total. This might imply an annual figure approaching just over 300 million! At the minute we would guess it could be nearer 250 rather than 200 million.

Digital books market grows at 66% as Nook discounts its eReaders by 48%

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The Book Publishers Association have today published their Annual Statistics Yearbook 2012.

We have generated our graphics with some additional help from them. Their digital* statistics go back as far as 2008, and “… earlier yearbooks only refer to physical books.” The figures are restated each year so may not correspond with previous years releases.

Fascinating reading, so as to speak. As is abundantly clear physical books are flatlining at about £3 billion per year whilst the overall market is growing at about a compound annual growth rate of some 1.5% entirely generated by digital.

Digital grew last year at 66% (51%) and now represents 8% (5%) of total sales. The digital compound annual growth rate we calculate as being a very impressive 42.5%. If it continued at that rate it would overtake physical book sales in 6 years time. We think it might do this within a decade but that physical will likely decline from its current levels.

At very much of an overview level the pattern, unsurprisingly is not dissimilar to retail sales with the added disruption of continuing device introductions from eReaders to tablets.

Talking of which we were amazed by the extent of Nook’s discounting yesterday of their eReaders (48%) and tablets (21%) in the UK.

  •  The Simple Touch eReader is down by £50 from £79 to £29 (63%)
  • ·The Glowlight is down by £40 from £109 to £69 (37%)
  •  Their HD 7inch tablet now starts at £129 down from £159 (19%)
  • The HD+ 9 inch tablet now starts at £179 down from £229 (22%)

So on a one off, of each basis, the saving would be £170 on £576 that’s 30% WOW.

It is linked to the  Get London Reading” project  and is stated to be for a limited time only

It would appear to us to be an ideal time to buy the entry level reader for £20 it’s “.. available throughout major UK retailers including Argos, ASDA, Blackwell’s, Foyles, Currys and PC World, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Very, as well as

* Digital formats, per The Publishers Association encompass ebooks, audiobooks downloads and online subscriptions. All sales figures include exports.

Disclosure: We have no commercial arrangements with Barnes & Noble

Sextuplets for the Amazon family

They have now grown by one in the UK, France, Germany, Italy Spain and Japan. The name of the new addition is the Kindle Fire HD 8.9”.

In another aggressive move they have lowered the US starter price from $299 to $269.

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In the UK  the starter price is £229 which compares with the iPad2 entry level price for a maxi of £329. So coincidentally that’s exactly £100 cheaper! Another coincidence is that it is also exactly the same price as the Nook HD+!

We wonder if Google will react as they are now well above the average larger tablet price which is now virtually £300.

In total market terms in Q4 2012 IDC reckoned that the Kindle tablet family got about 11.5% market share in 3rd place behind Samsung with 15.1%. This move may well propel Amazon into second place by the end of the year with their wider market availability.

The Press release credits the price decrease as being achievable due to increased volumes “As we expand Kindle Fire HD 8.9” to Europe and Japan, we’ve been able to increase our production volumes and decrease our costs. Across our business at Amazon, whenever we are able to create cost efficiencies like this, we want to pass the savings along to our customers.”

It’s certainly good to see Amazon making the whole product range available in the UK. So how about some free movies in the UK Prime offering – it can’t be far away can it?

In other related news Home Retail Group (the Argos owners) have just released their end of year trading statement covering the 8 weeks ended 2 March and again quote specifically the demand for tablets as a positive influence. “Total sales at Argos grew by 4.3% to £501m. …. Like-for-like sales increased by 5.2% in the period. Consumer electronics continued to deliver an improved sales performance driven by strong growth in tablets, which together with further growth in white goods and core electricals, more than offset weaker trading in homewares.

Total internet sales grew in the period, resulting in internet penetration increasing to 43% of Argos’ total sales, up from 40% a year ago. This growth was supported by the mobile commerce channel in which sales grew by 117% versus last year.”

They appear to stock all the major US vendors products (bar the Surface) along with Samsung and many others. So further evidence of a buoyant market as indicated by IDC a few days ago.

Exciting times!

Disclosure: We have Marketing Affiliate arrangements with Amazon


iPad mini shipments over 10 million in Q4

Click for full table

Canalys have just published their “Worldwide PC” shipments estimates for quarter 4 of 2012 (pdf). They include “pads” within their PC definition.

Their headlines are:

  • One in six PCs shipped in Q4 2012 was an iPad
  • Pads made up a third of worldwide PC shipments in Q4 2012

We though latched on to this little snippet:

Canalys estimates that the mini made up over half of Apple’s total pad shipments……

So, unless our calculator is misbehaving, they reckon at least 11.5 million shipments of iPads were mini’s. This is well ahead of our (very tentative) estimate of under 6 million.

Having extracted the tablet figures from their release the results, compared to IDC, basically have Amazon down by 1.4 million whilst Others are also some 4 million lower at 7.8 million.

It will be interesting to see further estimates, which we will add to our schedule, and in particular the iPad mini v’s iPad maxi saga as it unfolds.

Tablets > 50 million shipped, iPad < 50% Market Share

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IDC  have just released their Quarter 4 2012 Preliminary worldwide shipment estimates.

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It really was a bumper quarter as many had been signalling possibly some 25% above many forecasts which were around the 40 million level.

Apple of course lead the field but at 43.6% market share are well below previous levels and loosing some of their domination. Samsung lead the pack with Microsoft and Barnes & Noble disappointing, together with Asus/Nexus to a much lesser extent.



We’ve done one of our annual tables and, possibly even more than usual, we would add our health warnings! Many figures are revised and not generally available so there is likely a few little inconsistencies and many omissions.

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Having said all that it is interesting.

Clearly for the year the top vendors  with market share are:

  1. Apple 53.5%
  2. Samsung 14.3%
  3. Amazon 8.6%
  4. Asus 5.7%

The top 3 positions are likely unchanged on 2011

The growth in the quarter is up there with the highest ever and the year on year 2012 v’s 2011 at 72% is incredible!

On the market share front it’s interesting to see that, largely due to increased product introductions and new entrants Samsung’s market share actually fell in the last quarter.

According to IDC this is the second quarter where Apple have been below the 50% market share level which is something we were predicting last year. The only obvious winner in Q4 v’s Q3 was Amazon. The other 4 majors lost ground and whilst Barnes & Noble improved they have expressed their disappointment with their Nook sales. Other at 22% of the Q4 total shows the myriad number of vendors out there including ahem Microsoft!

Elsewhere IHS iSuppli in an interview with CNET have Microsoft Surface shipments at the higher level of 1.25 million but sales of only 700K – 800K. They talk of channel shipments etc etc but during Q4 we think Microsoft were only selling through their own outlets (including their US pop up stores) so are marginally surprised at the difference between sales and shipments. With both IDC and IHS iSuppli indicating shipments around the million mark Microsoft are likely hugely disappointed with these volumes.

We’ve done as very rough ready and inaccurate assessment of iPad mini v’s iPad maxi volumes and reckon the sales are much less than many were predicting and under 30% of the 22.9 million total. We’ll await more researched figures with interest!

Anyway all very interesting info and more to come as, at least Apple, gear up for the next lesser spendfest. We wonder who will win the Valentine wars which are starting earlier every year we think!

Other vendors will also be advertising their (tablet) wares and we will inform you of their offerings form time to time!





Another iChart to finish off the colour clashes!


Disclosure: We have affiliate Marketing arrangements with Amazon and Google

A Kindle Fire is for life not just for Christmas!

More anecdotal news items today, this time in the UK, indicating that Q4 and in particular the holiday season may have been a bumper one for tablet sales.

Both Argos and Dixons have said they were flying off the shelves/displays/tables and proceeding through the checkouts at a great rate of knots!

The FT say  “Sebastian James, chief executive, estimated that Dixons sold between 1m and 2m tablets, with five tablets sold every second in the week before Christmas.”

To back this all up Newsworks  (with some help from YouGuv) have declared it a “tab-tastic” Christmas!  They now conclude that 12.2 million of us are proud possessors of one of these devices.

Part of their survey identified tablet gifts by device supplier / brand. They have differential charts for giving & receiving which we only, sort of, understand!

More importantly the results show (on the Received as gift chart):

  1. Kindle Fire – 35%
  2. iPad 9.7 inch – 24%
  3. Samsung Galaxy – 12%
  4. Nexus 7 – 7%
  5. Nexus 10 – 6%
  6. iPad mini – 5%
  7. Nook – 5%
  8. Others – 7%

The Microsoft Surface is actually shown as 0%. It does rather better in the “Bought as gift” chart standing at 2%.

So in vendor terms:

  1. Amazon – 35%
  2. Apple – 29%
  3. Google – 13%
  4. Samsung – 12%
  5. Barnes & Noble – 5%
  6. Microsoft – 0%

After the introduction of the Kindle Fire in the US just before the holiday season in  2011 there was a sort of feeling that a fair number of them ended up staying in their boxes but a year down the track and with Amazon’s more developed ecosystem we think it less likely this year. So a Kindle Fire can now be for life not just for Christmas!

Elsewhere on a global basis, Trend Force reckon that December tablet large sized panel shipments were up 25.6% on November.

Apple are due to release their quarterly results on January 23 and Amazon on January 29, after which we will see what the worldwide sales/shipments are estimated to be. Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities  on the Apple front are looking for something like 23 million iPads in the quarter.

Here’s the full Slideshare version of the survey information from Newsworks.

Disclosure: We have affiliate marketing arrangements with Amazon.

Pick any colour tablet (but remember size matters)!

Fascinating forecast from the NPD group company Display Search of tablet shipments through 2017 released earlier this week.

We will try & do a little colour decoding! Health warnings abound as:

  1. There are many, how should we say, secondary & even tertiary suppliers out there
  2. Certain suppliers have a multiplicity of offerings
  3. Suppliers also have a habit of introducing new tablet screen sizes from time to time!
  4. The 8.9/11.6 and 7.7/10.1 inch colours are pretty similiar!

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At a, sort of, macro level assuming Display Search are near the mark then:

  • No wonder Apple introduced the mini
  • Microsoft’s Surface is not getting much market share (<5%)
  • The iPad mini outsells the iPad maxi this year but possibly not by as much as our 60/40 ratio but gets there a year or two later
  • Amazon‘s Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (together with any other such screen sized tablets) look to be doing rather well
  • The 7 inch tablet is not, and will not be, as popular as we had thought
  • Apple continue to dominate the global market but may have slipped below 50% last year and may not regain it.

Display Search’s take is “The rapid development and adoption of new screen sizes is allowing both large and small brands to gain market traction in all regions and create new demand for tablet PCs. The tablet market has been led by Apple’s 9.7” iPad, but in 2013 a new class of small tablets will take over the market. Tablet PCs with 7-8” screen sizes are expected to account for 45%, or 108 million units of the market in 2013, overtaking the 9.7” size which will account for 17% share or about 41 million units.”

On a geographic basis they comment “As the variety and demand for new screen sizes increases, so will market growth in emerging markets. Having passed EMEA in 2012 to become the second-largest market for tablet PC shipments, China will have 27% of the global tablet market in 2013 with shipments of 65 million units, driven by small local brands. However, North America will remain the largest market with a 35% share (85 million units) in 2013. In both China and North America, tablet PC shipments surpassed notebook PC shipments in 2012.

Their global numbers are based on a 2013 forecast of 240 million units. This shows a year on year growth rate of 64% implying some 146 million sales / shipments in 2012 which is, we think, at the top end of many estimates. UPDATE In fact this is way ahead of most estimates but, whilst marginally anecdotal, the main power management chip supplier Dialog Semiconductor indicated today that it’s calendar Q4 revenues were some 20% above their (usually realistic) guidance due to “…. a stronger than anticipated end of year, underpinned by a strong late surge in demand for Smartphone and Tablet products”. Samsung similarly announced earlier in the week revenues and earnings above expectations. The maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets said fourth quarter revenue likely rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 56 trillion won. Analysts said nearly 70 percent of the operating income for the quarter was likely generated by Samsung’s mobile division that makes and sells smartphones and tablets.  It may be that Q4 tablet shipments are way ahead of  many forecasts. We shall see!

Display Search’s headline is actually that tablets will outsell notebooks in 2013 but this doesn’t excite us terribly. They give a notebook figure of 207 million for 2013.

A fascinating analysis with possibly the next “happening” being Apple’s (earnings) release on January 23 when we, and a few others, will be interested in particular to see if they actually break down iPad sales between the mini and the maxi. We are convinced they won’t!

Disclosure – The CEO of this sites operating company The Information I Ltd is long in Dialog Semiconductor, with no positions in any of the other above companies.

The 3:11:61 Predictions!

For the mathematicians amongst you these are the prime factors of 2013!

So after much peering into the rather cloudy corporate crystal ball we think we can foresee:

  1. iPad Mini’s outselling iPad (Maxi’s) by a 60/40 ratio & new updates arriving (sooner) for the Mini and (rather later) for the Maxi.
  2. Kindle Fire and Nexus tablets battling it out for second place, to you know who, in the global marketplace throughout the year with the Microsoft Surface making little impact achieving a market share well below 5%
  3. Tablet sales closing on desktops, laptops etc numerically but not overtaking them. Most netbooks will disappear
  4. Apple’s market share for tablets being below 50% for the year
  5. Apple introducing both an iWatch and a (proper) TV in the second half of the year which will not be called the iTV
  6. Apple selling over 150 million iPhones whilst Windows phones won’t!
  7. Nook divorcing totally from Barnes & Noble gaining further additional shareholders over and above the historic Microsoft (16.8%) and the newly announced Pearson (5%)  who will exercise their option taking them up to 10%
  8. Mobile internet access overtaking fixed access during the year with “mobile” becoming the most used word on the internet followed closely by “things”!
  9. Twitter not having an IPO but may add tablets other than the iPad to its (rather Applecentric) log out screen!
  10. Some of ICANN‘s new gTLD’s being used during the year but not causing general disruption.
  11. Nominet quietly shelving their proposals but introducing a set of additional features for their third level domains with .uk New registrations in the year being around 1.75 million
  12. England retaining the Ashes in the UK & being well on the way to  completing the rout in Australia by 31 December.
  13. UK overall rainfall in 2013 being less than the 1981-2010 average of 1,154mm and well below this years near record of over 1,330 mm. That’s a staggering 4 foot 4 inches in old money! (Updated 3 January – unbelievably last year was only the second wettest year ever at 1330.7 mm v’s 2000′s 1337.3 – we demand a recount!)

Now for a very brief review of our 2012 predictions which might be summarised as consisting of some mini successes, many 10” failures and omissions a plenty!

With a bit of poetic licence and wearing our corporate rose tinted  3D glasses we reckon we had a  success rate of around 33%. [Room for improvement here - ed.]

Mini successes were iPad 2 & 3 continuing to be sold alongside one another and .uk registrations being less than 2 million. We also reckon we were half right in three other cases!

Anyway onwards & upwards!