Media Tablet Sales Tumble 28 Percent in Q1 2011

IDC revises forecast for year upward to 53 million units despite quarterly slip in shipments.

Shipments of media tablets worldwide fell some 28 percent to 7.2 million units in the first quarter of 2011 when compared with the preceding period, suggesting that demand for the platform may not be as robust as expected, according to researcher International Data Corp. (IDC)

IDC blamed seasonal trends typically found in consumer electronics and computers, an overall sluggish economy and some supply chain problems on screens for the downturn in media tablet sales during the period.

Despite the disappointing performance, IDC boosted its forecast about 6 percent for media tablet shipments to 53.5 million units for 2011, based on new product introductions expected later in the year.

"Although media tablet sales were not as high as expected in 1Q11 due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions, and supply-chain constraints, we believe with the entrance of competitive new devices in second half of 2011, the market will sell close to 53 million units for the year and continue to grow long-term," said Jennifer Song, IDC research analyst.

IDC said that Apple’s iPad and newer iPad2 dominate the media tablet market but that the vendor also suffered a decline in shipments for the quarter. Other vendors, including Samsung and Motorola, did not achieve more than moderate sales levels as distribution through telco carriers ebbed when customers balked at signing up for 3G/4G data plans typically required with the transaction, the researcher said.

"We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges," said Bob O’Donnell, IDC vice president, clients and displays.

TAGS: IDC,forecast,shipment,media tablet

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