• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Tablet sales spike 75% at the end of 2012, more than 52m units sold

For a consumer product category that didn’t even really exist a few years ago, tablets sales are pretty darn phenomenal. The latest boost in shipments comes courtesy of the end of year holiday boom — so if you were one of the people who spent Christmas day messing around with your new iPad or Tab, you were holding one of the 52.5-million tablets sold in the last three months of 2012.

According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), which tracks shipments from over 100 countries worldwide, close to 53-million tablets were sold in Q4 last year — a dramatic 75.3% increase over the estimated 29.9-million tablets that were bought in the same period in 2011. The stats also show the spike end-of-year sales bring to manufacturers: the fourth quarter sales represented a 74% increase over those of the period from July to August. Holiday sales were always going to be big for gadget manufacturers though: a record 1.2-billion apps were downloaded in the week of Christmas 2012, as over 20-million new devices were activated and new owners hit their respective app stores.

So, what tablets were flying off the shelves? Predictably, Apple led the race: IDC estimates suggest 22.9 million iPads (Minis included) were sold in Q4, up 48.1% over the same period last year. But its dominance is slipping slowly, as competing products from Samsung and Microsoft chip off its lead: it lost 2.8% of total tablet marketshare from Q3 to Q4. With 263% year on year growth, Samsung snapped up second place, shipping almost 8-million Android and Windows 8 tablets in the last three months to hold on to 15.1% of total sales. Amazon took third place with its Kindle Fire, selling an estimated 6-million tablets to secure 11.5% of the market.

idc tablet sales q4 2012

Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Asus’ offerings (including the Nexus 7) and Microsoft’s Surface made up the rest of the leading manufacturers. Barnes and Noble shipped a million Nooks in the quarter, while 3.1-million Asus tablets hit consumers’ hands and around 900 000 units of Microsoft’s much-hyped laptop/tablet hybrid were sold.

Chart: Top Five Worldwide Tablet Vendors, 2012Q4 Five Quarter Market Share Change (Units)Description: Worldwide Quarterly Tablet TrackerIDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tracker provides total market size and vendor share for both the Tablet and eReader markets in 46 countries. Detailed segmentation is provided by CPU, operating system, connectivity type, screen size and resolution, storage, distribution channel, and customer segment. Measurement for this tracker is in units, value, and end-user price. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com. Further detail about this tracker can be found at:http://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=81Tags: Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Asus, Barnes Noble Tablet, IDC, tracker, Q4 2012, 4Q 2012, market share, galaxy, iPad, Kindle, Transformer, Nook, 2012Q4Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More

More in Mobile

We're learning to trust mcommerce as security fears fall

Read More »