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TrendForce: iPad Shipment Weakens with Q3 Market Share Continuing to Dip

According to WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendForce, the global 7”- and-above tablet shipment of the resolution WSVGA and up for Q3 attained 44.3 million units, surging 8.4% from the previous quarter. Generally speaking, the Q3 tablet shipment has got rid of the sluggish atmosphere in Q2, however, some brands show no strengthening performances and lack the strong restocking ahead of the traditional holiday shopping season.

WitsView research director Eric Chiou indicates that despite new showcases of iPad Air and iPad mini 2, Apple’s shipment will concentrate in Q4, contrast with Q3 which has no strong new-launch support and suffers from consumers’ wait-and-see attitude on new releases. While Apple’s tablet shipment was only 14.1 million units, trimming 5% QoQ, the iPad lineup’s market share continued to drop to a historical new low, 31.8%.

Based on WitsView’s analysis, ambitious Samsung takes advantages of Apple’s product reshuffle and boost its tablet shipment to a new record of 10.5 million units. The full and diverse product portfolio is the key for Samsung to lift the tablet shipment and in addition to the entry-level Galaxy Tab and the high-end Galaxy Note equipped with S Pen, Samsung actively promotes the 8” products that are rarely emphasized by other brands, forming a complete lineup with the 7” and the 10.1”.

However, Samsung’s aggressive shipment also leads to risks of accumulating inventory. As the No.1 smart phone brand, Samsung enjoys rich resources with the telecom channel partners, but it cannot avoid the large-scale price-cutting campaign in Q4 to ease inventory pressure as tablet throat-cutting war intensifies.  

The PC brands who performed ideally in H1’13 see the price-cutting effect fading as the low-price atmosphere gets common. Only Lenovo relying on China and bidding projects achieved excellent results, Asus and Acer merely had one-million-unit shipments in Q3, respectively, seeing a more than 30% drop from the previous quarter. As new models from Apple and Amazon hit store shelves, PC brands face fiercer challenges in the current quarter.

Both Google and Amazon have the high-resolution 7” as the promotion core for this year. Chiou says as a market pioneer, Google’s new Nexus 7 reached an significant shipment of 2.1 million units in Q3, more than doubling from that in Q2. However, new Nexus 7 with fine and upgraded resolution has compromised on the affordable price tag. New Nexus 7 is expected to show an even weaker Q4 shipment than Q3 following the digestion of model distribution as its selling price tops the benchmark USD 200 for 7” tablets, indicates Chiou. Besides, as Google and Amazon’s tablets share common features, the similar situation will happen to Amazon and damp its new model shipment in Q4.

Based on WitsView’s analysis, the tablet remains the highly-anticipated consumer electronics product during the holiday shopping season, and the Q4 shipment is projected to attain 54.3 million units, rising 23% QoQ, with the release of new models such as iPad Air. Nevertheless, the purchase in the tablet segment is losing the steam, and the constantly accumulating inventory from early this year will influence the Q4 market. The tablet shipment forecast for entire 2013 is 186.7 million units, including 145.6 million units for branded tablets and 41.1 million units for white-box brands.


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