Tablet Shipments Over Half of PC Shipments, Apple’s Share falls to 43%

January 31, 2013 - Written By Lucian Armasu

IDC is reporting that 52.5 million tablets have been shipped in the last quarter, compared to about 90 million PC’s. While PC sales have fallen 19% compared to a year ago, even after the “big Windows 8 launch”, tablets have had staggering growth with over 75% growth compared to a year before.

If you still don’t think that people will buy many fewer PC’s in the future, and a lot more tablets, then this should serve as a wake up call. If this tablet growth continues, and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t then in less than a year, tablet shipments should surpass that of PC’s. Just think about what that means. It will mean that the tablets will be the new main way of doing personal computing, instead of PC’s.

And who’s at the forefront of that? Android and iOS are the two main platforms taking advantage the most of tablet growth. Apple is still leading the market as a single company selling tablets with 43% market share, while Samsung comes in second with 15% of the market.

But you may notice something here. Apple has lost a lot of market share during the past few quarters. They started out with 90% market share when they were pretty much the only game in town. Then they had like 70% market share after Kindle Fire launched, and now we’re just at the beginning of Android tablet explosion in the market, and yet Apple’s share of the tablet market has fallen under 50%, to 43%. While IDC doesn’t say it, it probably means that the rest to 100% is mostly dominated by Android tablets.

I can really see how iPad’s market share will drop to around 20%, just like their global smartphone market share. In fact, it may become even lower than the iPhone market share, because iPhones are still pushed by carriers all over the world, while affordable Android tablets can be found everywhere.

I don’t see Windows 8 tablets being much of a threat to Android in the future either, as Windows tablets still have their own problems to deal with, such as they still can’t easily drop under $500, and even those that do are plagued by slow performance, maybe not necessarily for the “mobile” apps, but definitely for the legacy Windows programs, which are supposed to be an “advantage” over Android and iOS tablets. But the truth is they are not – not with that kind of processing power. Perhaps with Intel Core or similar processors, but those devices tend to be $900 or more, and that level of the market is already owned by Apple with its Macs. Few people really buy $900-$1000 Windows machines, and it’s not just a theory. The sales have shown it.

So Android has plenty of leg room in the $99-$499 market, where most people who want to buy such a device are, and when you think of the reach of Android globally, there’s little doubt that Android will soon dominate this market.