The total global tablet market exceeded 32 million shipments in Q3 2012, growing 75% year on year, according to a new Tablet Market Update report from Futuresource Consulting.
Futuresource forecasts show that the tablet market will reach shipments of 137 million units in 2012 and will grow almost threefold over the next five years to reach 352 million units shipped in 2016.
"We're seeing significant industry growth across all key world territories, with the majority of tablet market activity still originating from consumer purchases," says Simon Bryant, Head of Consumer Electronics, Futuresource Consulting. "However, education and enterprise segments are growing and now account for 11% of the market. In particular, the education segment accounted for 26% of B2B shipments, equating to 3% of the total market in Q3 2012. This demonstrates the continuing impact of personal electronic devices on the classroom.
"We've been monitoring the market in China for some time now, and as its domestic white label tablets continue to exert an influence on global volumes we are now including this data in our forecasting. Between Q1 and Q3 this year, the Chinese white label market accounted for around six million units shipped - 43% of the total Chinese tablet market - and these white label products could achieve between nine and ten million units for 2012, which equates to around 50% of the total Chinese tablet market."
The USA continues to lead the way in tablet adoption, currently accounting for 43% of global ownership and is on track to achieve an installed base of nearly 90 million devices by the end of 2012. Europe has seen slower uptake, with Futuresource research showing that nearly 45 million devices will be in European homes by the end of 2012. In the UK, total tablet shipments continue to grow, with forecasts of 6.4 million units sold in 2012, up from 3.8 million in 2011. Looking to the emerging markets of Brazil, Russia and India, growth is running at levels more than double the USA and Western Europe, though from a far smaller installed base.
The current and future growth in tablet shipments is being driven by many factors, with price being a key influencer. Price drops in premium high end products are making products widely available to a wider user base, with many consumers already in a position to upgrade. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is being pushed by a reduced pricing strategy across Europe which has led to a lift in sales.
"The average trade price per unit is currently down below $370, representing a 24% drop in price year on year. Despite this price erosion, the overall value of the tablet market will continue to climb, and prospects for the industry are extremely positive, with strong growth throughout the forecast period to 2016," says Bryant.