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IDC: Apple's iPad took 83% share of tablets shipped in 2010

post #1 of 53
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Contrasting Apple's recent claims that it controls more than 90 percent of the tablet market, research firm IDC revealed on Thursday that the iPad represented 73 percent of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010, and 83 percent for the entire year.

IDC's "Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker" found that 10.1 million "media tablets" were shipped in the fourth quarter of calendar 2010. During the holiday frame, Apple sold 7.3 million iPads, representing its strongest quarter of sales in the device's short history.

IDC categorizes media tablets as devices with color displays larger than 5 inches and smaller than 14 inches, running lightweight operating systems like Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Shipments of media tablets in the U.S., Western Europe and Asia/Pacific are said to have accounted for 89 percent of the total market in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The firm found that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the primary competitor to Apple's iPad in the holiday quarter, representing 17 percent of shipments in the fourth quarter.

Apple's share of tablet shipments dipped from 93 percent in the third quarter to 73 percent at the end of 2010 as competitors entered the market. But Apple still captured an 83 percent share of shipped tablets for the total calendar year. IDC expects the iPad to retain between 70 percent and 80 percent of the market in 2011.

"Strong holiday sales of media tablets were in line with IDC projections and strong consumer interest in the category while device vendors scrambled to offer products competitive with Apple's iPad and now iPad 2," said Loren Loverde, vice president, Consumer Device Trackers. "Media Tablets are on pace to reach shipments of roughly 50 million units in 2011."

IDC's figures contradict market share statistics stated by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs at last week's unveiling of the iPad 2. Jobs touted that the iPad has more than 90 percent market share while competitors are "flummoxed."

It's possible that some of the difference could be explained by hardware shipped versus what was actually sold. While Apple saw strong sales of more than 15 million iPads to end users in all of 2010, Samsung shipped about 2 million of the Galaxy Tab, though actual sales to end users remain unknown. One report also claimed that the Galaxy Tab has a 16 percent return rate with buyers.
post #2 of 53
Clearly, there's a big difference between shipped and sold. Sold is the only number that matters, not channel stuffing shipments. I also think this "media tablet" name for the category is quite stupid.
post #3 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Contrasting Apple's recent claims that it controls more than 90 percent of the tablet market, research firm IDC revealed on Thursday that the iPad represented 73 percent of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010, and 83 percent for the entire year.

Calling the Galaxy Tab a tablet is like calling a Cessna a jumbo-jet.
post #4 of 53
Agreed. Counting what was shipped to suppliers doesn't really mean much. Lets see some numbers on Tablets sold before you call out Apple for "inflating" their numbers.
post #5 of 53
Apple owns the tablet market. Got it.
post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Apple owns the tablet market. Got it.

Until the Xoom utterly destroys it and takes over.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

until the xoom utterly destroys it and takes over.

2015?
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Clearly, there's a big difference between shipped and sold. Sold is the only number that matters, not channel stuffing shipments. I also think this "media tablet" name for the category is quite stupid.

Still very good news for Apple though.

Apple's "shipped" equates to "sold" almost 100% whereas the other makers shipped to sold ratio is much lower. That means Apple could be considered to have something closer to 90% of the market at this point.
post #9 of 53
Surely there can't be any relation to this coming out today and iPad 2 coming out tomorrow... could there?
Pump and dump, dump and pump.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Until the Xoom utterly destroys it and takes over.

Xoom is a flop. Most people have already forgotten about it.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Calling the Galaxy Tab a tablet is like calling a Cessna a jumbo-jet.

Well if it's not a tablet what is it?
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

Well if it's not a tablet what is it?

An obese smartphone that doesnt make calls.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Until the Xoom utterly destroys it and takes over.

That and the numerous other tablets set to launch in the coming years.

I'm inclined to think HP is the dark horse in this race. Soon they will be bundling WebOS on all their computer products and mobile devices. That will easily rival the installed base of Apple iOS and Mac OS before too long.
post #14 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

An obese smartphone that doesnt make calls.

It's still a tablet in the same way that the iPod touch is.
post #15 of 53
“Shipped.” Not a very interesting number. I really don’t think the Tab took anywhere near 1/7 of the iPad’s actual sales! That’s just not particularly plausible. (Which of course should exclude returns!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

It's still a tablet in the same way that the iPod touch is.

I agree, it’s fair to look at tablets that broadly if you choose. Mini-tablet? (I wonder what the tablet market looks like with the Touch thrown in!)
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

It's still a tablet in the same way that the iPod touch is.

The iPod touch is considered a tablet?
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

That and the numerous other tablets set to launch in the coming years.

I'm inclined to think HP is the dark horse in this race. Soon they will be bundling WebOS on all their computer products and mobile devices. That will easily rival the installed base of Apple iOS and Mac OS before too long.

I would agree, if HP has the chutzpah to push back against years of obedience to Microsoft. That is an uphill battle that will require an immense amount of determination and talent to implement. The mobile space may be their bellwether to see if they can manage and deliver against another platform like Apple, in order to assess what their potential success would be in releasing WebOS on the desktop. If they manage even 20% mobile penetration successfully, you can count that as a huge indication of their ability to deliver WebOS to the desktop market and deliver a significant blow to Redmond's hegemony in the desktop space. BUT and this is very important - they cannot go the Android route and leave things sparse and loose. If they are going to deliver, they will need to build out a mature platform as good or better than Apple. They will not be able to do that "soon" as you predict, without leveraging a large amount of internal resources - an unheard-of commitment they have not been able to make in other areas. Does HP have enough of an innovation culture to manage this, we haven't seen it demonstrated so far.

The caveats here are easy:
IF they can commit the resources, and
IF they can mature a serious platform delivery, and
IF they can demonstrate it with a year or so, then
they have a chance to rival the Apple platform.

As you can see not easy, not without serious commitment on their part, and you also have to remember that Apple is a fast, forward-moving target, not a slow-moving behemoth like Microsoft.
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post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Shipped. Not a very interesting number. I really dont think the Tab took anywhere near 1/7 of the iPads actual sales! Thats just not particularly plausible. (Which of course should exclude returns!)

I agree, its fair to look at tablets that broadly if you choose. Mini-tablet? (I wonder what the tablet market looks like with the Touch thrown in!)


The requirements used excluded the iPod Touch as a part of the "media tablet" category. It is arguable but an arbitrary set of requirements. I wonder who commissioned the report?
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post #19 of 53
Given that Samsung admitted that their 2 million number was bogus, this article should not have been written because the 83% calculation is equally bogus.

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post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CIM View Post

Xoom is a flop. Most people have already forgotten about it.

Heh, they failed on the screen, lame. Even the galaxy tab got that part right.
post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

It's still a tablet in the same way that the iPod touch is.

The iPod touch isn't considered or counted as a tablet by any of the companies who come up with these numbers.

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post #22 of 53
What I do find funny is seeing Verizon ads for the Xoom on the AppleInsider. That is advertising money well spent. LOL. Maybe those ads are targeted just for trolls?
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewperson View Post

The iPod touch is considered a tablet?

Why not? Because it's smaller? It has the same processor as the iPad and runs the same software. The only difference is the size of the screen. Just because it is marketed as an iPod does not stop it being a tablet.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

The big question is will Honeycomb be a flop. The Xoom isn't doing well because of price point not because it isnt a good tablet.

Just curious - does anybody know what Galaxy an Xoom user feedback is? Forget about competitive vitriol and loyalty, what do users think about the experience?
post #25 of 53
Quote:
IDC's figures contradict market share statistics stated by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs at last week's unveiling of the iPad 2. Jobs touted that the iPad has more than 90 percent market share while competitors are "flummoxed."

There is a wide divide in meaning between "shipped" and "sold". Moreover, two numbers may be different but such difference does not necessarily indicate inconsistency. 32oF and 0oC may be different in numerical value but both refer to the temperature when water below this temperature (at normal pressure) would freeze to ice or melt when the termperature goes above the aforementioned numbers. So, they are the same (i.e., consistent), even if different.

The trouble with this article, is that Apple Insider does not provide raw numbers (as opposed to percentages) and the linked source did not provide one that are readily accessible eiher.

How can Apple Insider then make the conclusion that there is contradiction if the author has no access to the raw data. This would mean accepting that the IDC data is correct and Steve Jobs misrepresented in his presentation.

First of all, does IDC really have complete access to the actual shipment? Or they were just extrapolating?

Difference in terms

As important, the term used by IDC was "shipped", while I was not able to view the entire and actual iPad2 unveiling (except via live blogs), if I remember correctly, Steve Jobs presentation indicated "sales" not "shipped": This distinction is consistent with his making fun of the CEO of the competing Galaxy tablet. Also, if I recall correctly, Steve Jobs also provided raw (estimated) figures for the percentage, that may be different from the definition of tablets by IDC.

And, just as important, Steve Jobs talked about 15 million when he claimed the 90% Apple share based on sales. The IDS only has data for shipped Galaxy Tab, but even the CEO was unwilling to provide hard data to quantify, "the sell off(?) is smooth" to qualify the difference from "shipped out". Didn't the company acknowledge significant returns too, and just exactly how many? Did the statistics take this into account?

So, IDC would not have very accurate sales option.

On the other hand, Apple has to supply actual data to the SEC as part of its quarterly earnings report. Sure Apple would represent the information in a way to be positive for Apple, but can it really misrepresebt its own actual released information that would be directly different and inconsistent with SEC filings?

CGC
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

Why not? Because it's smaller? It has the same processor as the iPad and runs the same software. The only difference is the size of the screen. Just because it is marketed as an iPod does not stop it being a tablet.

Agreed. If we're going to include the Tab as a tablet computer then we also have to include the Touch. And that would give Apple, what? 99% of the tablet market?
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheeles View Post

It's still a tablet in the same way that the iPod touch is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Shipped. Not a very interesting number. I really dont think the Tab took anywhere near 1/7 of the iPads actual sales! Thats just not particularly plausible. (Which of course should exclude returns!)



I agree, its fair to look at tablets that broadly if you choose. Mini-tablet? (I wonder what the tablet market looks like with the Touch thrown in!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewperson View Post

The iPod touch is considered a tablet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

The requirements used excluded the iPod Touch as a part of the "media tablet" category. It is arguable but an arbitrary set of requirements. I wonder who commissioned the report?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

The iPod touch isn't considered or counted as a tablet by any of the companies who come up with these numbers.

But for a few inches of screen real estate, Apple's numbers would have been much, much larger. The Touch actually sells on pace with the iPhone at times, and typically puts up at least 50% of the iPhones sales. That means iPad plus Touch is more than double, if not closer to triple the sales recorded in this report.

Efforts to pigeonhole and categorize these sales always seem bizarrely arbitrary, to me, and highly dependent on who is doing the pigeonholing and categorizing.

Apple makes two non-phone iOS touch devices at the moment: the iPod Touch and the iPad. Together, they'll probably sell something north of 100 million devices this year. Market researchers can chop that up any way they like, pretend like the Touch doesn't count, but number of devices in use has a huge impact on software and accessories, not to mention uptake and desirability of Apple system solutions like FaceTime, AirPlay and AirPrint.
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post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

The big question is will Honeycomb be a flop. The Xoom isn't doing well because of price point not because it isnt a good tablet.

It's the little things the drive up costs. Honeycomb won't be a flop, but it needs better optimization if they ever expect to compete with the iPad on price. The OS simply demands at least a gig of memory and faster processing which increases costs.

In contrast, the iPad flies with 256 mb of memory. Try implementing 256 or even 512 mb in the Xoom - it won't be pretty. Even now with 1 gig, it runs like complete and utter crap.

Did you guys notice Safari's improvement between iOS 4.2 and 4.3? Optimized!!!
post #29 of 53
I think the big differentiator for tablets is going to be apps. Not just quantity, but actual honest to God applications that do computer like things.

So far, it looks like Google and their licensees are content to treat tablets like a big phone (ironic, I know). For all the talk of how Honeycomb is "built from the ground up" for tablets, it appears as if most of the functionality revolves around mobile communications and glanceable real-time info. And, surprise, that's exactly what an Android phone is good at. So it's still not clear to me why I need a tablet to do a somewhat better job of what a handset is already really good at doing.

I think we're starting to see the DNA of Google and Apple come to the fore, as more capable devices allow for a more expansive experience. Apple is a software/hardware company with a track record of great applications and an emphasis on user experiences. So their tablet is running stuff like Pages, GarageBand, iMovie, Keynote, et al.

Google is an advertising company with a track record of ad supported online functionality. So their tablet OS has widgets, email, maps, chat, etc. Which is great, and some of Google's implementation of those things are obviously very popular, but it still doesn't answer the question of why one needs a tablet for that kind of stuff. At the moment, the Xoom et al appear to be rather large, rather expensive game/media consumption devices with mobile communications. And, as I've said, I don't see where Google's business model really allows for the kind of big productivity apps that Apple is building for the iPad.

Apple is moving inexorably towards making the iPad a laptop replacement. Google is moving Android towards an entirely web dependent Google services using device. We'll see how that works out.
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post #30 of 53
How can a reporter not investigate the difference between Apple's claims of SOLD and IDC's estimates of SHIPPED.

A company that ships 2,000,000 and sells just a few is even more inept than one that didn't ship or sell any (RIM, Motorola, HP etc). Perhaps your reporter should apply for a job with one of them.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Given that Samsung admitted that their 2 million number was bogus, this article should not have been written because the 83% calculation is equally bogus.

Exactly.

IDC and its analyses sound more and more suspect as time goes on. Too bad, 'cos they used to be a pretty good source of credible tech data.
post #32 of 53
Who is IDC?
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly.

IDC and its analyses sound more and more suspect as time goes on. Too bad, 'cos they used to be a pretty good source of credible tech data.

I am not sure that is entirely fair. I have not seen the raw data, and if they stuck to the term shipped in their calculations, this is a fair estimate of ratios of shipped tablets, as they defined it.

It is analysts, pundits and authors that misrepresent or falsely interpret the data that were at fault here.

CGC
post #34 of 53
Samsung ships, Apple sells.
So look, as other have pointed out, at the semantics.

Three terms being used here.
1. Ship
2. Sell
3. Control

The one who sells, controls.
The one who ships but doesn't sell, inventories.
The one who sells the most, Conrtols.

So Apple sold 90%. The rest shipped a lot and sold a little.
Apple has shipped and sold 73% in the fourth quarter of all tablets in the over 5 inch range but in the high 90's when the 3.5 inch are included. Samsung shipped 17% and sold far less than half that.

Apple is a hit in both the consumer and corporate fields.
The eXoom hit the market first but is unfinished, expensive, made for movies and not designed for enterprise. Did I say expensive?

Don't you love the wiggle room stuff.

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post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

But for a few inches of screen real estate, Apple's numbers would have been much, much larger. The Touch actually sells on pace with the iPhone at times, and typically puts up at least 50% of the iPhones sales. That means iPad plus Touch is more than double, if not closer to triple the sales recorded in this report...

The iPod touch is not really a tablet though. The only rational way to divide the devices up is by software.

it goes like this:

Platform = all devices running iOS
Devices = Phones, PMPs, Tablets

What's an iPhone? It's a PMP that also has a phone function.

What's a tablet? It's a mobile device that runs large format apps like Books, Comics, Writing apps, and other "full" software. An iPod touch can run shrunken versions of some of these apps, but the fact that there are two different types of apps (Tablet apps and PMP/Phone apps) is more telling. An iPod touch is not a tablet, but by the same definition, neither is the Dell streak or any of those 7" tablets like the Tab that are running PMP or phone software.

Obviously there is a lot of crossover in all of these devices and with all of the definitions but size, and more importantly the size of the software running on it is the clearest differentiator. Tablets are analogues for books and pads of paper, which throughout history from cuneiform tablets through papyrus scrolls to present day paper books, (with a few exceptions) have been roughly (surprise!) the size of the iPad. Everything else is not a tablet.

If the Galaxy Tab was running actual tablet software, then you might consider it a "mini-tablet," but referring to anything smaller than a large paperback size as a tablet is just wrong IMO.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Clearly, there's a big difference between shipped and sold. Sold is the only number that matters, not channel stuffing shipments. ...

Exactly. I love how Samsung's executive Lee Young-Hee had to squirm when the initial translation of her Galaxy Tab end user sales comment came out as "quite small." It was quickly re-translated to "quite smooth." Then later "quite OK." No matter what spin she tries to put on her statement, it's clear that she didn't mean "quite good."

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

... I also think this "media tablet" name for the category is quite stupid.

This is a term created the tech media to include anything and everything that is shaped like an iPad but isn't an iPad. Makes the competition seem bigger and stronger so the tech media can make it look like there is actual competition out there.

The same way fandroids lump all the running-dog generic droid makers together, when in fact they are trying to destroy each other. To take each others' slice of the iPad-wannabe pie.

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post #37 of 53
All it comes down to is profit. Apple takes something like 80%+ of profits in the smart phone market. It probably takes 97%± of the Tablet Market no matter how you size the screen. With such profits, guess who has the dime to research, test and innovate. But Apple spends less in all this than most other companies larger and much smaller yet the others still can't get it right. Gotta make ya .

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post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

What I do find funny is seeing Verizon ads for the Xoom on the AppleInsider. That is advertising money well spent. LOL. Maybe those ads are targeted just for trolls?

Nahhh, forget the trolls. Tons of non members/non Apple partisans pop in to AI from time to time, often following a link from a news aggregating site or a search query. These might be undecided people with interest to buy. Putting an add for a product in competition with the item they are about to read about is quite smart.
Scroll to the bottom of a hot article about the iPad2 to see the ratio of non members to members reading the article...
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post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

The requirements used excluded the iPod Touch as a part of the "media tablet" category. It is arguable but an arbitrary set of requirements. I wonder who commissioned the report?

Consumer Reports.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

I also think this "media tablet" name for the category is quite stupid.

No kidding. I think some like Gartner are hoping if they give it a stupid name they will just go away
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