So you thought tablet PCs are what the future of computing will be all about. Well may be not as analyst firm IDC has a different story to tell. So while tablet sales reached a commendable 18 million units in 2010, the growth trajectory has slipped by about 28 percent so that only about 7.2 million tablets found buyers between the January to March 2011 period. This is quite a drop from the 10.1 million tablet PCs sold in the last quarter of 2010.
However, IDC believes there is no need to read too much in the decline in sales as the overall sales figure for tablet PC for the entire 2011 is likely to be a whooping 53.5 million units, up from the 50.4 million tablets that it had earlier predicted.
“Although media tablet sales were not as high as expected in the first quarter of 2011 due to slower consumer demand, overall economic conditions and supply-chain constraints, we believe with the entrance of competitive new devices in the second half of 2011, the market will sell close to 53 million units for the year and continue to grow long-term,” said IDC research analyst Jennifer Song.
The sales breakup though reveals a familiar story with the Apple iPad and the new iPad 2 making up the bulk of the tablet sales so far. However, Android tablets too hasn’t exactly been push-overs as they have improved their market share by 8.2 percent during the first quarter of 2011, bringing its worldwide share of the tablet segment to 34 percent. A slew of launches planned towards the second half of 2011 is expected to significant add to the tablet sales. Also, lets not forget Apple too has a tablet – the iPad 2 plus lined up for a release towards fall and the all too familiar story of million plus tablet sales post launch with several millions more desperately awaiting their chance to lay their hands on the tablet is likely to be enacted once again.
However, while the future of tablet PCs looks to be quite promising, the same can’t be said of e-readers. In fact, the e-reader story is painting a glum picture with sales plummeting down to 3.3 million units during the Q1 2011.