IDC: Media tablet sales drop in Q1 2011

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The first quarter of 2011 witnessed descending shipments of media tablets but the sales are expected to climb during the year ahead, revealed a fresh report by IDC. The tablet shipments reportedly lowered by 28 percent on a sequential basis to 7.2 million units. However, the research firm predicts this year to show a rise in shipment with 53.5 million units compared to the previous 50.4 million.

Further, it states that the media tablet segment may not be as popular as the hype suggests. The eReader market is also said to have faced a similar situation wherein its shipment declined sequentially to 3.3 million units after the holiday season. But, this device category received 105% year-over-year growth owing to its overall popularity due to the addition of colored eReaders from B&N and so on. However, such comparison details for media tablets are not yet available.

“Like the PC market, Media Tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Vice President, Clients and Displays. “We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges.”

Apple’s iPad and now the iPad 2 are reining the tablet market and other vendors possibly face difficulty in the acceptance of their products. Astonishingly, even Apple shipments for the first quarter were below expectations. Talking about Android-enabled devices, they grew by 34 percent with a share increase of 8.2 points over the previous quarter.

“Although media tablet sales were not as high as expected in 1Q11 due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions, and supply-chain constraints, we believe with the entrance of competitive new devices in second half of 2011, the market will sell close to 53 million units for the year and continue to grow long-term,” said Jennifer Song, IDC Research Analyst.

The new Color Nook helped B&N move a step ahead in the specific device category while Amazon’s Kindle stood second. IDC also foresees global eReader market to ship 16.2 million units this year, bringing in 24 percent rise compared to last year.

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