Worldwide shipments of tablets fell by almost 20 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared with the first quarter of the year, affecting giants such as Apple, Samsung and Amazon.
Research from analyst house Canalys showed that in the first quarter of 2013 shipments hit 41.9 million but in the second quarter this dropped to 34.2 million, down by 18.4 percent.
Senior researcher at the firm, Tim Coulling, told V3 that this was in part due to the “uncharacteristically” strong sales in Q1 of 2013, due to big marketing pushes from firms like Samsung.
“There was a lot of promotion around the Galaxy Tab, while shipments from more localised players in other markets were strong,” he said.
For Apple, the decline in Q2 over Q1 was significant, with shipments falling from 19.4 million to 14.6 million. This is due in part to many people waiting for new devices from the firm, expected later this year.
Second quarter 2013 shipments for Samsung also fell, from 8.6 million to 7.3 million, while Amazon dropped from 1.8 million to 1.5 million.
Coulling said all these firms were suffering as consumers hold off and wait for new products, like the new Nexus 7 from Google, announced last week. “We certainly expect Q3 to increase in shipments again,” he added.
While shipments for Q2 were down compared with the start of the year, they were much stronger than the same period in 2012. Over the two periods, worldwide shipments were up 43 percent to 34.2 million from 23.9 million.
Apple, though, still saw its shipments fall when compared with Q2 2012, falling from 17 million in 2012 to 14.6 million in 2013.
Other vendors performed strongly year-on-year, with Amazon rising 265 percent, Acer 228 percent and Lenovo, which performed the best, by 317 percent.
However, while the share rises over the quarter are impressive, the actual shipments are still far below Apple. Samsung, for example, saw shipments rise from 1.9 million to 7.3 million, but this is still half that of Apple.
Similarly, Lenovo, despite rising the most of any vendor, only saw shipments of 1.47 million, up from just 354,000 in the second quarter of 2012.
No Microsoft devices made it near the top places, which is unsurprising as Microsoft this week revealed Surface sales only generated $853m, far below the cost of the marketing and advertising push for the device.
Coulling said Microsoft may do better in future, but it needs to drop its prices. "Heavily discounted Surface RTs will fly off the shelves. Expect prices to continue to fall, though, as the starting price of $350 is still too expensive to spark an HP TouchPad-style buying frenzy," he added.
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