Apple continues to dominate tablet market, Kindle Fire demand fizzles

Apple iPad

ABI Research on Monday revealed the results of a its latest study concerning the global tablet market, which grew a whopping 185% year-over-year. The research firm found that Apple’s iPad continued to dominate the market, and after an explosive debut quarter, demand for Amazon’s Kindle Fire has begun to slow. Manufacturers shipped more than 18 million tablets in the first quarter of 2012, with Apple accounting for 11.8 million devices, or nearly 65% of the market. Shipments of Amazon’s Kindle Fire “fizzled” allowing Samsung to ship the most Android tablets, although it still only managed to move 1.1 million units. “A pattern similar to smartphones is also occurring in tablets,” said Jeff Orr, ABI Research group director of consumer research. “Apple and Samsung have demonstrated staying power while other tablet vendors ebb and flow like the tide.” The research firm found that only two manufacturers saw shipments increase in the first quarter over the same period a year earlier: Research In Motion, which saw shipments of its PlayBook tablet grow 233%, and Lenovo. ABI’s press release follows below.

iPad Remains Dominant in 1Q’2012 While Kindle Fire Fizzles

NEW YORK – June 4, 2012

​The media tablet market shipped 18.2 million devices in 1Q’2012, which represents a 185% YoY gain and a -33% sequential loss in shipments. Apple’s 11.8 million iPad shipments were spurred by the launch of a third-generation lineup and price reduction on iPad 2 models, while Samsung’s 1.1 million shipments returned the vendor to the number two spot after Amazon’s Kindle Fire shipments fizzled entering 2012.

“A pattern similar to smartphones is also occurring in tablets,” says Jeff Orr, group director, consumer research. “Apple and Samsung have demonstrated staying power while other tablet vendors ebb and flow like the tide.” Only two leading branded tablet OEMs – RIM (233%) and Lenovo (107%) – bucked the downward first quarter shipment trends, while Taiwan’s ASUS remained flat sequentially from 4Q’2011. Several vendors, including Dell, HP, and LG are currently retooling tablet portfolios for mid-year launches of Android 4.0 along with the much anticipated Windows 8 slates debuting later in 2012.

Apple continued to lead the market with nearly 65% of worldwide units and surpassed 67 million cumulative shipments in its first eight quarters of availability. iPad can’t claim the highest mobile broadband (3G/4G) attach rate for media tablets, though Apple retains its title of shipping the most 3G-enabled tablets by outpacing the number two competitor by a factor of eight. “The majority of iPad buyers continue to be satisfied with Wi-Fi wireless coverage,” adds Orr. The leading model shipments and the ongoing challenges mobile operators face in convincing iPad owners to even try the mobile broadband connectivity once are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

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