Nearly 18 Million Media Tablets Shipped in 2010; Apple Has 83% Share
According to IDC, the United States, Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) regions accounted for 89% of all media tablet shipments in 4Q10. Although the United States remained the largest country market, Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) grew almost twice as fast from 3Q10 to 4Q10 and Western Europe saw a slightly larger jump in shipments in 4Q10.
In 4Q10, retailers were the channel with the highest share of shipments, followed by direct and telco sales. A new channel for media tablets, the telco operators, accounted for nearly 14% of all shipments of media tablets in 4Q10 following just over 1% share in the third quarter.
Vendor Highlights: Media Tablets
- Apple is building on its strong 2010 first-generation iPad launch with the iPad 2, which will ship this month, before most competitors come to market with first generation media tablets. Although more competing devices will be launched this year, IDC expects Apple to maintain a 70-80% share of the market.
- Samsung started shipping its 7 in. Galaxy Tab media tablet in 4Q10. Although its shipments into the channel were fairly aggressive, a lack of competitive pricing and ongoing competition from Apple stifled consumer demand. Samsung is expected to follow with a 10.1 in. Galaxy Tab with Android 3.0 Honeycomb later this year, but the refresh will have a tough time maintaining share as more competitors enter the market.
- The recently launched Motorola Xoom is a worthy competitor in function, although the relatively high price is expected to be a barrier to gaining significant share.
- Other vendors and designs are expected to hit the market in earnest in the second half of 2011. Many of these products will be more competitive in function, like the Xoom, but we expect only those from large vendors with significant marketing and channel structure in addition to a few technologically and price competitive devices to capture significant share. One differentiation path that some vendors are likely to take is to focus on specific market segments, such as commercial. While benefitting from unique product positioning, they are likely to address a smaller overall market and will need to be competitive with devices from Apple and others.
Vendor Highlights: eReaders
- Amazon continued to lead the eReader market holding just over 48% share in 4Q10 and 2010 overall. Amazon's share recovered in 4Q10 with shipments of the refreshed Kindle (3) after dipping under 40% in 3Q10.
- Barnes and Noble began shipping the NOOKcolor color LCD-based ereader in 4Q10 to support children's books, periodicals, and other graphically rich content. The NOOKcolor is more expensive than epaper-based ereaders and offers a lower priced, less feature-rich alternative to a full-fledged media tablet.
- Pandigital edged out Barnes and Noble for the number 2 spot in 4Q10, although the latter came in slightly ahead on an annual basis.
- Hanvon of China came in as the number 4 eReader vendor with a sequential gain in volume. Half of Hanvon shipments were in China, where it leads the market, but where eReader growth remained modest. International shipments faced greater competition, pushing share down overall.
- Worldwide Sony Reader shipments grew 80.7% during 4Q10 and exceeded 800,000 units for 2010.
The Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker includes quarterly shipment and forecast analysis for over 30 countries including market size and vendor share along with detailed market segmentation and product attributes such as operating system, connectivity, and storage capacity among others.