Last quarter saw a new record in tablet sales. Apple, naturally, held the market-share lead, according to a new report by ABI Research.Tablet makers sold 25 million devices from April to June and are on track to sell between 102 million to 110 million units in 2012, most of them iPads, says ABI’s Jeff Orr, senior practice director for mobile devices. He calculates these numbers from talking to the manufacturers, suppliers, and the sales channel.
Orr also says that Windows 8 tablets—due out in October—will likely nibble into Android share more than it hurts Apple. Because it’s new and comes so late in the year, Orr expects its 2012 market share to be negligible. He’s predicting 1.5% share for all Windows tablets this year, including Windows 8 devices and the Windows 7 tablets on the market now.
In Q2, Apple sold 17 million tablets for a 69% share of the market. It sold 17.5 million units in the quarter—nearly as many iPads as it sold in all of 2010.
If there is a downside to Apple’s growth, it’s this: Nearly 1 million of its less-expensive iPad 2 devices were sold to US education customers last quarter, which pulled down its average selling price (see chart).
Still, that’s nothing to worry about. When students graduate, they will likely opt to buy a similar device to bring to the companies where they work. So it’s a good long-term tactic to get students to adopt a device.
There was good news for Samsung in this report: Even though Samsung’s legal disputes with Apple over patents meant that it couldn’t sell its tablet in certain markets, Samsung managed to take second place at 8% of the market. Amazon took third with about 4%.
One more interesting factoid from this report: three-quarters of the tablets sold were Wi-Fi only. Less than 27% bought devices with 3G or 4G wireless connections built in. That suggests most tablet buyers are cost-conscious—or plan to use devices primarily at home or the office.
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