Tablet market continues to be the iPad market

Looks like Steve Jobs wasn’t kidding when he proclaimed Apple a mobile devices company at the original iPad unveiling in January 2010. Fast-forward to today and the tablet market is still by and large dominated by the iPad.

According to latest research data by NPD, Apple shipped 17.2 million tablets and notebooks – collectively referred to as ‘mobile PCs’ – for a cool 22.5 percent share of the entire market. For comparison, second-ranked Hewlett-Packard managed to move just 8.9 million mobile PC units, capturing a 11.6 percent market share.

Just two years ago, it would have been unheard-of for Apple to beat first-tier PC vendors at their own game. But this is 2012 and Apple is riding high on strong momentum that its tablet continues to enjoy in markets the world over…

Per latest NPD data, out of the 17.2 million tablet PCs Apple shipped in Q1 2012, 13.6 million were iPads (strange, Apple’s own earnings report says 11.8 million iPads).

Another way to look at it: nearly 80 percent of Apple’s mobile PC shipments were iPads.

Eighty percent.

That’s mind-boggling.

Take a look at the rankings below.

Apple’s share in the mobile PC category was nearly double that of its closest rival Hewlett-Packard. It also eclipsed the combined market share of Hewlett-Packard and Acer Group.

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Q2’12 Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report

In other words, without the iPad, Apple wouldn’t even make it on the top five global notebook vendors list.

But we’re living in a post-PC world.


Tablet shipments grew 124 percent year-over-year while notebooks and mini-notes surged only twelve percent annually.

If you count only tablets, the iPad remains an undisputed leader, claiming nearly two-thirds of the market, or approximately 62.8 percent. In particular, Apple grew in China which accounted for 13 percent of mobile PC shipments in Q1 2012.

And this is what the tablet market looked like in Q1 2012.

Source: NPD DisplaySearch Q2’12 Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report

Samsung’s rise to #2 doesn’t surprise me (they sold 1.6 million tablets to capture a 7.5 percent market share)

What’s startling is Amazon’s fall from grace as it fell to #3 from #2.

Actually, this echoes IDC numbers that pegged Amazon’s Kindle Fire shipments at just 700,000 units in Q1 2012, eroding its market share from 16.8 percent share in Q4 2011 to just four percent share in Q1 2012.

Surprisingly, both Research In Motion RIM and Asus have sold 500,000 tablets each, enough to jump back into the top five rankings after weak results in the previous quarter.

I think it’s worth remembering at this point that Steve Jobs predicted today’s trends at the iPad unveiling a little more than two years ago.

He said Apple was selling more units of mobile devices than its rivals such as Sony and Motorola and, by revenue, the company’s mobile devices segment even surpassed that of Nokia.

“Apple is a mobile devices company. This is what we do”, he said.

And current CEO Tim Cook continues along the lines of its predecessor, likening the iPad to “the poster child of the post PC world” during the Marc 2012 introduction of the iPad 3.

He pulled up this chart that really says it all.

Cook made a point by saying:

We sold more iPads in the last quarter of last year, than any PC maker sold of their PCs.

And with three-quarters of Apple’s Q1 2012 revenues coming from post-PC devices, “We have our feet firmly planted in the post-PC future”, the 51-year-old chief executive remarked.

What a difference a few quarters make, eh?