Phablets have recently become a very hot market for smartphones, thanks to devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note line and increasingly large screen sizes. For the past couple of years, they’ve been steadily gaining traction and market share and stealing some thunder away from smaller tablets. Because of this very fast growth, the IDC seems to think that by the end of this year, phablets will overtake portable PCs (laptops) and then eclipse tablet shipments next year.
The phablet market is expected to hit 175 million units shipped in 2014, and then nearly double to 318 million in 2015. With laptops only expected to ship 170 million units this year and tablet devices expected to move 233 million units next year, that would indicate some very impressive growth from phablets.
IDC’s latest numbers are in, and 2013 was a pretty big year for smartphones. For the first time ever, smartphone shipments passed 1 billion total phones, which is an incredible achievement. Android smartphones accounted for just shy of 800 million devices. Android and iOS were (obviously) the two major forces behind driving this growth, as both operating systems accounted for 93.8% of smartphone shipments total last year.
For the fourth quarter, we saw some pretty positive growth, too. Android shipments grew 40.3% year-over year, second only to Windows Phone. However, in terms of pure numbers, Android shipping an incredible 226.1 million devices compared to Windows Phone’s 8.8 million. iOS actually saw some pretty slow growth year-over-year, coming in at around 6.7%.
A new report from International Data Corporation and App Annie has revealed some interesting things about mobile gaming for Q3 of 2013. Intriguingly, Android gamers favor playing games on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets rather than an Android tablet using the Play Store. This isn’t too surprising as Kindle Fire sales are excellent and an emphasized selling point is gaming. The app store for the Kindle Fire has a huge selection of games and Amazon always includes games in their press images and demonstrations.
So many people enjoy the gaming experience on mobile devices that they actually have passed Nintendo’s 3DS/DS line and Sony’s PlayStation Vita in popularity. That’s also unsurprising because mobile gaming has shifted towards phones and tabs while handheld consoles are experiencing a slump.
Apple stumped Android in app store revenue while also defeating it in popularity. To be exact, Apple’s App Store generated almost three times as much revenue as the Play Store in the United States. The Play Store, however, seems to be on the climb with more quality apps be released and devices being able to handle intense graphics and physics.
Source: App Annie
We’ve seen tablets explode in popularity in just the last year or two, and as of right now, it doesn’t look like anything is going to slow down that momentum. According to IDC, in 2013, tablet shipments will pass portable computer shipments worldwide. This is partly thanks to tablets 58.7% growth year-over-year, and partly due to the PC market’s apparent slump in the past few quarters. IDC’s report credits much of this ecosystem change on tablets’ abilities to meet most core users’ needs while maintaining a lower price point. The average selling price of a tablet is expected to dip to a low $381, while the ASP of a PC in 2013 is around $635. For most users, it makes more sense to spend half the money when a tablet can handle all of your daily tasks. After surpassing laptop shipments, IDC expects tablets to take the crown from total PC shipments in 2015.
Tablets will only continue to get faster, more usable, and more affordable, and while I don’t think the PC will ever go the way of the dinosaur, I think it’s pretty clear the direction the average consumer’s computing is going to go.
IDC has released their numbers for tablet market share in the first quarter of 2013, and it looks great for Android tablets. In the first three months of the year, 27.8 million Android tablets were shipped, up 247% from Q1 last year. The 27.8 million tablets also happen to make up 56.5% of all tablets shipped during the quarter, snagging the top spot from Apple. Apple’s share dipped to 39.6%, which is almost a 20% decline in market share from the previous year. While Apple didn’t ship less tablets, (they actually shipped almost 8 million more than they did in Q1 2012) there was a significant boon in the tablet market compared to last year, and a ton of those tablets ran Android.
Obviously, this just represents one quarter of this year, which a small slice of the pie. Android tablets have a ways to go, especially in popularity and app selection, before they can really penetrate the tablet market the way Android has done with phones. Still, though, grabbing up over half of an entire market in a quarter is a huge step in the right direction.
These numbers shouldn’t really surprise anyone, but a ton of people bought smart devices in 2012, according to IDC. They bought over 1 billion of those devices, actually. That includes, desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The leaders there were (obviously) Samsung and Apple, with Apple accounting for 20.3% and Samsung accounting for 21.2%. Pretty impressive for just two companies.
IDC also expects smartphone and tablet sales to surpass PC sales in 2013, which, considering how fast new phones and tabs seem to sell, isn’t all that surprising. They’re predicting PC sales will actually stall to no growth whatsoever by 2017. Four years is a long time, and things can change, but if the market continues on the trend it’s going now, I think that’s a very realistic result.
What do you guys think? Are you surprised that portable devices are eating into traditional PC market share? Do you think that’ll turn around in a year or two? Let us know in the comments.
Analysis of International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker data indicates smartphone shipments will exceed regular feature phone shipments in 2013. This will be the first time ever on an annual basis that smartphones will own the majority of the worldwide market if IDC’s projection of smartphones grabbing 50.1% is accurate. According to IDC’s analysis, three factors have pushed smartphones to the verge of market dominance. Falling prices for smartphones, a wide “strata” of smartphones, and continued improvements to data networks, especially carrier rollouts of 4G wireless, are all contributing to growth as they make smartphones a more attractive choice for buyers. IDC is forecasting that by 2017, over two-thirds of all phones shipped worldwide will be smartphones.
IDC reported today that the worldwide tablet market grew 75.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Even compared to the third quarter the growth was impressive with an increase of 74.3% or 22.4 million units worldwide. The total for the quarter, 52.5 million units worldwide according to preliminary data, is a new record for tablet shipments.
Tom Mainelli, a research director with IDC, attributes the strong growth to new product launches, including Microsoft’s entry into the market, and increased consumer interest in tablet devices. Market leader Apple saw growth of 48.1% compared to the same period last year. The news was not all positive for Apple though as their market share continued to decline, down 3.1% from the prior quarter and 8.1% from a year ago. Meanwhile, Apple’s primary foe, Samsung, saw year-to-year growth explode by 263.0% on the way to grabbing 15.1% of the market while shipping 7.9 million units. Amazon and ASUS both saw impressive gains year-to-year as well, with ASUS tablet shipments growing by an mind-boggling 402.3%. Barnes & Noble saw shipments slip by 27.7%, though they still managed to hold onto the number five spot.
As financial results continue to be released for mobile phone companies and manufacturers, we are beginning to get a better picture of what the condition of the global smartphone market is like. With Samsung’s release this morning of their third quarter results, combined with other reported results, we see the market is extremely healthy and that Samsung is sitting on top.
International Data Corporation (IDC) just upped their overall tablet sales forecast for 2012 and moving forward, but sees Android with no gains, and in fact showing a small decline into 2016. Originally IDC estimated that overall tablets would hit 107.4 million units worldwide in 2012, but now that has been increased to 117.1 million. They also revised their 2012 forecast to 165.9 million from 142.8 million. In 2016, shipments could hit 261.4 million.
With all this growth how can Android not show some success? Well in terms of actual units, Android will gain, but when it comes to market share things don’t look good. For 2012, IDC expects Android to have a 35.3% market share, which is down from 38.9% in 2011. By 2016, IDC is expecting a more dismal 30.5%. On the flip side, Apple will drop a little as well. They will go from 60% this year to 58% in 2016. The rest of the market share will be made up from Microsoft’s Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets. For 2012, they will hit 4% and eventually grow to 11% by 2016. It will be interesting to see if their numbers hold because I’m expecting bigger things from Microsoft when it comes to tablets.