Global tablet sales to top 100 million in 2012: survey

August 23, 2012
The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is displayed at a press conference in 2011. The global market for tablet computers is extending its sizzling growth and will likely top 100 million in 2012, a research firm said Thursday.

The global market for tablet computers is extending its sizzling growth and will likely top 100 million in 2012, a research firm said Thursday.

The April-June quarter set a new record for tablet shipments of nearly 25 million units—up 36 percent from the prior quarter and 77 percent year-over-year, according to ABI Research.

shipments represented nearly 69 percent of the total, according to a preliminary assessment by ABI.

"Most impressive about Apple's 17 million tablet shipments in the second quarter was it nearly matched 2010 total worldwide shipments of 17.3 million for all vendors," says Jeff Orr, an ABI analyst.

That included nearly a million of its older iPad 2 devices shipped to US education customers, which brought down the average selling price.

South Korea's Samsung was the second biggest selling with over eight percent and followed by Amazon and Taiwan's Asus while Dell and LG pulled out of the market.

With new tablets hitting the market from and Microsoft, ABI said it expects growth trends to continue.

"The is on track for 102 to 110 million shipments worldwide for full-year 2012," said Orr.

The survey noted that most tablets operate as Wi-Fi devices without the ability to go mobile. Less than 27 percent of new shipments included a mobile broadband modem module, down 12 percent from a year earlier.

Many analysts believe Apple will launch a smaller version of its iPad later this year, and that will release an upgraded Kindle Fire. Microsoft is set to release its Surface tablet in late October. Taiwan's Acer and Asus are planning tablets using Windows 8 from Microsoft.

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