Tablets Dominate Market, Consumers Weak on PCs

Apple iPad Mini

On the heels of BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins prediction that tablets are, "not long term business solutions," the International Data Corporation (IDC) research firm reported Wednesday that global sales of tablet computers surged by 142.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

According to the report, the reason for the massive uptick in sales of tablets is the result of more consumers choosing small-screen devices over PCs. The IDC report stated that tablet shipments in the first quarter of the year had totaled 49.2 million units, eclipsing the total for the entire first half of 2012.

The research group chalked up a great deal of the demand for tablet devices to the introduction of Apple's iPad mini, which they say helped fuel the frenzy for tablets.

"Sustained demand for the iPad mini and increasingly strong commercial shipments led to a better-than expected first quarter for Apple,"  Tom Mainelli, IDC analyst reportedly said.

Despite Apple's share of the market falling to 39.6 percent from 58.1 percent a year ago, the computing giant remained firmly on top of the tablet sales charts, moving 19.5 million units in the first quarter of 2013.

Samsung, the number two vendor of tablet devices, also posted better-than-predicted sales numbers, with 8.8 million units compared to 2.3 million units over the same period last year. The IDC said Samsung leveraged the popularity of its Android platform to aggressively move these units.

In glaring contrast, sales of personal computers took a swan dive of 13.9 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to IDC figures released early last month, making it the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year declines for PC shipments. The report chalks this up to not just tablets, but the increase in popularity of smartphones as well.

ASUS was ranked the third highest seller of tablet sales, moving 2.7 million units thanks to Nexus 7, beating out with 1.8 million units.  Microsoft entered the top five for the first time with its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet devices accounting for nearly 900,000 units.



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