Tablet shipments increased 56.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 28.2 million units worldwide, according to market research firm IDC. A total of 68.7 million tablets were shipped in 2011, up 155% over 2010. Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads in the fourth quarter representing 54.7% of the global market, down from 61.5% in the third quarter of 2011. Amazon shipped an estimated 4.7 million Kindle fire tablets to grab 16.8% of the global market, while Samsung increased from a 5.5% share in the third quarter to 5.8% in the fourth. Barnes & Noble, despite shipping more units than in the previous quarter, saw its worldwide market share fall from 4.5% to 3.5% in the fourth quarter. Pandigital rounded out the top five with a 2.5% of the market share. IDC predicts that low-cost Android tablets will help Google’s mobile platform overtake Apple’s market share by 2015, however iOS will remain more profitable. Read on for IDC’s press release.
Amazon’s popular Kindle Fire is seen as having a huge impact on eReader shipments in the first quarter of 2012. The 7-inch Android tablet burst onto the scene in November and with less than seven weeks of availability in the fourth quarter, it managed to secure Amazon 14% of the global tablet market according to IHS iSupply. Demand for the Kindle Fire has remained strong in the first quarter — the slate is still Amazon’s best-selling electronics device for the 16th week running — and according to DigiTimes Research, eReader shipments will take a huge hit this quarter as a result. A seasonal decline from the holiday quarter to the first quarter is always anticipated, but DigiTimes’s research arm sees global eBook reader shipments dropping from 9 million units in the December quarter to just 2 million this quarter, a 78% decline. DigiTimes Research still projects solid eReader shipment growth in the coming years, however, as sales into channels jump from an estimated 22.82 million units in 2011 to more than 60 million units by 2015. More →
Apple’s shipments of iPads and MacBooks in the fourth quarter combined to give the Cupertino-based company a 26.6% percent share of the mobile PC market, according to a report from DisplaySearch released on Thursday. Apple shipped a total of 23.4 million units, nearly three times the amount of No.2 HP. The iPad accounted for 18.7 million units and captured 59.1% of the tablet market. Amazon shipped 5.3 million Kindle Fire’s for 16.7% of the market, with Samsung shipping 2.1 million and controlling 6.7% of the market. ASUS shipped 1.5 million units for a 4.6% market share and Barnes & Noble shipped 1.1 million units for a 3.5% share. Apple’s fourth quarter notebook shipments came in at 4.6 million units for an 8.3% share of the market. Ranking ahead of the Cupertino-based company was HP (15%), Dell (11.8%), Acer (11.8%) and Lenovo (10.8%). Read on for DisplaySearch’s press release. More →
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its popular Nook Tablet to compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Lining up with earlier reports, the new Barnes & Noble slate features the same specs as the earlier Nook Tablet, however the device’s internal storage has been halved to 8GB. “For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in a statement. “NOOK Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this holiday has received rave reviews from customers about all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers the ability to experience NOOK Tablet’s unmatched content experience for only $199.” Barnes & Noble also stated that its previous-generation Android tablet, the Nook Color, will drop to $169, undercutting the Kindle Fire by $30. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble may be planning to launch a new version of its Nook Tablet at the same $199 price point that has helped Amazon’s Kindle Fire retain its spot atop Amazon’s best-selling electronics list since its launch last year. According to a purported internal memo circulated at Walmart and obtained by The Verge, the new version of Barnes & Noble’s popular Nook Tablet will launch on Tuesday. The only known difference between the current Nook Tablet and the new version is the slate’s internal storage, which will be cut in half from 16GB to 8GB. Pricing is not mentioned in the memo, but Barnes & Noble’s 16GB tablet is currently listed at $249. Considering the downsized flash storage chip and the Kindle Fire’s $199 price tag, a new sub-$200 price tag is a safe bet if this rumor pans out. A screenshot of the purported memo follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble on Monday received some potentially good news following the rejection of its antitrust suit against Microsoft earlier this month. Microsoft is looking to halt the import of the bookseller’s Nook slates, claiming the devices infringe three Microsoft patents. Barnes & Noble argued that the patents in question are invalid because they do not cover new inventions, and the company has a new ally. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, told Bloomberg he recommended that ITC Judge Theodore Essex rule that there is no violation by Barnes & Noble. Microsoft said the recommendation was made before evidence was presented, and it believes Hsu’s opinion may change once the trial gets underway. Bloomberg notes, however, that the ITC staff acts as a third party in the case and there’s no requirement that the judge follow any recommendations. Microsoft claims the Android operating system found on Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader utilizes its protected technology, and the software giant has signed agreements with roughly 70% of Android vendors in the United States to license the technology in question. Judge Essex is expected to release his findings on April 27th.
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft are currently tied up in two separate legal battles, one being heard by the Department of Justice and the other by the International Trade Commission. In March 2011, like previous Android vendors, Microsoft accused Barnes & Noble’s NOOK and NOOK Color of infringing on the company’s patents. The software giant, which takes in roughly $450 million a year through Android royalties, was looking to license the infringed patents to the bookseller, but the company fired back with claims that Microsoft was creating an abusive monopoly. It is now being suggested by patent expert Florian Muller of FOSS Patents that the ITC is likely to reject Barnes & Noble’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft, however. The complete order is not publicly available, but an administrative law judge has reportedly dismissed Barnes & Noble’s patent misuse defense against Microsoft . The judge issued a detailed order that has not yet been made public, but the headline reads, “Initial Determination Granting Microsoft’s Motion for Summary Determination of Respondents’ First Affirmative Defense of Patent Misuse.” The ITC evidentiary hearing will begin on Monday, February 6th. More →
Barnes & Noble’s fifth-generation “e-reading device” will reportedly launch this coming spring. Mentioned in passing within a New York Times profile of the struggling bookseller, it is unclear if the device in question will be a new media tablet or a standard eReader. With Barnes & Noble’s current-generation color tablet having just been announced this past November, however, a refresh of the company’s E Ink-equipped Nook Touch in the spring seems more likely. Barnes & Noble first unveiled the Nook Touch — then referred to as the “all-new Nook” — at a press conference in New York last spring. The device has since been upgraded with an improved display and a battery that lasts up to two months on a single charge, but the design of the eBook reader remained unchanged. The lightweight ergonomic case and soft-touch rubber feel on the Nook Touch make it our preference over Amazon’s E Ink eReader, so we hope the company’s fifth-generation model doesn’t stray far from the current design. More →
Pew Research conducted a pre-holiday survey among people age 16 and older between November 16th and December 21st, and two additional surveys of adults age 18 and older in January. The data found that during the holiday gift giving season, sales of tablets and eBook readers nearly doubled from 10% to 19%. In the same time frame, the number of Americans owning at least one of these devices jumped from 18% to 29%. More than 33% of those living in households earning more than $75,000 a year own a tablet, with almost a third of those with college educations or higher owning the device. The eReader data revealed that more woman own the devices than men and those with both a high level of education and income showed the highest percentage of ownership. More →
Barnes & Noble’s previous-generation Nook slate is getting an update beginning today that will add a number of features from the new Nook Tablet to the device. “Among the new features, NOOK Color v1.4.1 now offers access to streaming popular movies and TV shows through Netflix, comics and graphic novels, new PagePerfect NOOK Books, reading NOOK Books in portrait and landscape modes, and many other enhancements through-out the device,” Barnes & Noble said. Version 1.4.1 of the company’s Android-based operating system is available immediately as a manual update on Barnes & Noble’s website and it will automatically be downloaded to devices over Wi-Fi beginning some time this week. Barnes & Noble’s full change log follows below. More →
Barnes & Noble’s manufacturing partners have now shipped a total of 1 million new Nook Tablets according to a recent report. Unveiled early last month and released shortly thereafter, the new Nook Tablet features a 7-inch “Vivid View” display built by LG, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a dual-core 1GHz processor and the Android 2.3 operating system. According to sources at component suppliers speaking to DigiTimes, more than a million new Nook Tablets have been manufactured and shipped to Barnes & Noble to date. The report also claims Barnes & Noble had to increase orders recently due to strong sales — the bookseller initially ordered 800,000 Nook Tablets to be built through the end of 2011, DigiTimes noted. More →
Barnes & Noble on Thursday reported its results for the second fiscal quarter of 2012, in which it revealed its Nook business has seen stellar growth over the last year. The company said that its Nook business, which includes sales of tablets, eReaders and eBooks, pulled in $220 million in the second quarter, up 85% from the same quarter last year. Barnes & Noble did not reveal how many Nook devices it sold during the quarter but said that it expects to sell “millions of devices” during the third fiscal quarter. B&N.com sales increased 17% year-over-year from $177 million to $206 million, but Barnes & Noble’s overall sales fell 0.6% from $190 billion in the second quarter last year to $189 billion this past quarter. Retail sales also dropped 1% from $931 million to $918 million. Barnes & Noble’s full press release follows after the break. More →
By the end of 2014, there will be 89.5 million tablet owners in the United States according to a new forecast, meaning one in three web-connected Americans will own a tablet. Of those 89.5 million people, 68% will own iPads. Market research firm eMarketer recently published its tablet forecast for the next three years and it determined that tablet growth will slow over the coming years, as will iPad sales. The firm estimates that there will be 33.7 million tablet owners in the U.S. by the end of 2011. That number will grow 62.8% to 54.8 million in 2012, and another 37.9% to 75.6 million by the end of 2013. Growth will then drop to 18.3% in 2014 according to eMarketer. Over the same period of time, the firm sees Apple’s market share in the U.S. dropping from 83% in 2011 to 76.4% next year, and then further declining to 68% in 2014. Two tables detailing eMarketer’s predictions follow below. More →