The first quarter of a year is always tough for gadget makers. Consumer spent all their money in the holiday quarter and are hard to motivate to buy something new in the beginning of the year. The only company that is able to do on a regular basis is Apple. While the tablet shipments dropped to 17.4m in Q1 from 28.2m in Q4 of 2011, the Android tablet makers suffered the most.
"Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC. "Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well."
The iPad market share rose from 54.7% in Q4 of 2011 to 68% in Q1 of 2012. Amazon lost the most marketshare quarter to quarter. In Q4 2011 the Kindle Fire had a 16.8% marketshare and last quarter it was only 4%. This is less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab marketshare.
"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N, and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products at notably lower price points," Mainelli added. "We expect a new, larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture."