According to the survey by WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendForce, the global shipment of the 7” tablets with WSVGA resolution and above attained 41.1 million units, dropping 12.4% from the previous quarter. The seasonal factor, the generation shuffles for some mainstream products, and the inventory adjustments amid the weakening sales were all key reasons for declining shipments.
WitsView’s research director Eric Chiou says that Apple, as one single brand that controls the most volumetric tablet shipment, saw its 9.7” iPad entering the end of life cycle in Q2, and iPad mini’s relatively selling prices caused slow sales and the impacts from the inventory adjustments, leading to a dropping shipment of 14.6 million units compared with 19.5 million units in Q1. On top of the quarterly drop as high as 25%, its market share has dropped to 35.5%, the new historical low.
Samsung’s ambition of boosting the tablet shipment was also shown on the Q2 shipment. Despite its slightly decreased shipment of 8.8 million units from the previous quarter, the Korean maker’s market share, supported by the newly launched 8” model, grew from 20.2% to 21.5%, still a remarkable result. As for the two leading PC brands, Asus and Acer, their business cores both were placed on the under-$130 7” products, and the price-cutting strategy helped them become the two of a few brands counter to the declining trend, seeing excellent QoQ growth of 60% and 36%, respectively.
“The two long-term winners of the entry-level tablet segment, Amazon and Google, showed unideal shipment results, holding shipment volumes of only 1.1 million and 0.9 million units, respectively,” Chiou indicates. Amazon’s 2013 new models are all concentrated after September and the brand is in an empty-product period, while Google’s fighter model Nexus 7 had the 1st generation approach the end of life cycle in Q2 and saw a significantly dropping shipment. The single-quarter shipment will bounce back to more than 2 million units in Q3 as the 2nd generation product is projected to ship smoothly.
The white-box tablet couldn’t avoid the decline in Q2. The price increases and the short supply for the key component RAM led to double strikes of cost increase and insufficient supply to white-box tablets that had smaller production scales, in addition to brands’ strongly promoted entry-level tablets that squeezed their room for survival. Under both the internal and external impacts, the white-box tablet saw a shipment volume of only 9.7 million units, declining 7% QoQ
Based on WitsView’s analysis, on top of Amazon’s yearly new 7” model and the 2nd generation of Nexus 7, several highly-anticipated models will be revealed in Q3, including Apple’s heavyweight Generation 5 iPad and the new Android 10.1” tablet intensively designed by PC brands. With the stimulation of improved spec and tempting prices, the Q3 shipment is projected to reach an amount of 49.6 million units, challenging a QoQ growth of 21%. The tablet shipment for the entire 2013 is estimated at 196.5 million units, including 153.2 million units of brand tablets and 43.3 million units of white-box tablets.