2011 tablet sales projection: Unexpected results

By Posted 13 Jul 2011, 14:23

The tablet device has been around much longer than you think, but it was the launch of the iPad that made us pay attention to this technology. Last year the industry laughed and thought that Apple were making a mistake with the launch of their device, but it did not take long for them to wish that they had eaten their words. Sales in 2010 were astonishing, which was all down to the one device, but sales projections for 2011 have thrown up some unexpected results.

Shipments of these tablet devices have fallen by 28 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to just 7.2 million. However, this is only for the short term, as there is now a much greater choice in the second part of 2011. Sales of the iPad 2 have still been high, but it has been sales of rival tablets that have been slow. The Samsung Galaxy Tab made up for a small percentage of sales in the early part of the year, but consumers had held off until the slimmer 10.1 version was made available.

There is now a much greater choice, with the Motorola Xoom, the BlackBerry PlayBook and many others, which is why the sales forecast has gone from 50.4 million to 53.5 million units by the end of the year, as reported by IDC. We should not dwell on the low shipping figures from the first quarter of 2011, as this is seen as a minor setback, it is what happens now that is important.

This does make perfect sense, as it always takes a few months into a new year for sales of such items to find their feet. Also you have to remember that it is CES, and most of what will be coming that year gets shown off – so consumers wait in anticipation for new devices to arrive.

We’re also forgetting another small factor in slow shipments at the start of 2011, the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. This had an adverse effect on the shipping of the iPad 2, and as a consequence suffered from unexpected delays. Thankfully things are now back to normal, but you still have to wait as much as 2 to 3 weeks, as demand is still strong.

The final part of 2011 will be when sales move up a gear, as there will be countless more Android versions, as well as a rumored iPad 2 HD or Plus – we still do not know what it will be called and if there is any truth to the rumor. It has been suggested that Apple will offer a minor update to compete with the upcoming Amazon Tablet – only time will tell.

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