Media tablets may have reached market saturation in several markets -- particularly those made by Apple. Worldwide tablet shipment growth has slowed in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13), according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
Worldwide tablet shipments finally experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell -9.7 percent from 1Q13. However, the 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter was up 59.6 percent from the same quarter in 2012, when tablet vendors shipped 28.3 million devices.
Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple's iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6 million units for the quarter -- that's down from 19.5 million in 1Q13.
In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top 3 also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter.
Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1 million units shipped in 2Q12. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0 million units in 2Q13, down from 2.6 million in 1Q13.
"A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director at IDC.
With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that's likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter IDC expects new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.
Not all vendors experienced a slowdown during the quarter. PC stalwarts Lenovo and Acer both re-entered the top five this quarter.
Lenovo continued to make headway into the world of mobility and for the first time had shipments surpass the million unit mark in a quarter, shipping a total of 1.5 million devices. This was up 313.9 percent from a year ago and enough to capture 3.3 percent market share.
Rounding out the top 5 was Acer, which shipped 1.4 million tablets in 2Q13 for 247.9 percent year-over-year growth and an increase of 35.4 percent over the first quarter of 2013.
"The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result," said Ryan Reith, Program Manager at IDC. "Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run."