Demand for tablets continues to gain traction, with the global market achieving shipments of 25.5 million units in Q2 2012, representing 92 per cent year-on-year growth, according to the latest Tablet Tracking report from Futuresource Consulting. The report reveals significant industry growth across the key world territories, with the majority of tablet market activity still coming from consumers, though enterprise and education segments are growing steadily and accounted for 11 per cent globally.
“The USA continues to lead the way in tablet adoption, currently accounting for 46 per cent of global ownership,” says Joe Mugan, Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting, “and the region is on track to achieve an installed base of nearly 90 million devices by the year end. Europe has seen slower uptake, though still very significant, with our research showing that nearly 43 million devices will be in European homes by the end of this year.”
Looking to the emerging markets of Brazil, India and particularly Russia, growth is more than double that of the USA and Western Europe, though penetration rates are still very small.
“In terms of brand positioning, Apple continues to dominate the global market, accounting for 66 per cent of unit shipments in Q2, as the company continues to benefit from the iPad’s appeal,” says Mugan. “We expect Apple to remain dominant for the short to mid term, though Samsung has strengthened its leadership position within the Android segment and there are signs that Android and Windows-based products could gain a far greater market share in the near future.”
In total, Futuresource expects the global tablet market to achieve 124 million unit shipments in 2012, representing 95 per cent growth year on year. Long-term prospects for the tablet industry continue to be very positive, with strong growth throughout the forecast period out to 2016. This is driven by a widening array of mobile content for tablets, price erosion which is making the product widely available to an increased user-base and product replacement as consumers consider upgrading and buying the next big thing.
“Multiple tablet ownership per household will also drive market growth, as advances continue to be made in the range of uses and applications available,” says Mugan. “In addition, as consumers look to smaller tablets – with screen sizes of less than 8.5-inches – different sized tablets are expected to coexist as two separate segments, with consumer research indicating that larger tablets are predominantly used in the home whereas smaller, lighter tablets are more often used on the move. Apple’s expected imminent launch of the iPad Mini will inject additional growth into the smaller screen category. Combine the Apple launch with the Kindle Fire – released in Europe in September – and the recently launched Google Nexus 7 and we’re going to see some electrifying market movements in the run up to the holiday period.”