FRAMINGHAM, MASS. –
Tablet PC and e-reader
sales unexpectedly fell during the first quarter, according
However, during the quarter, Barnes & Noble became
the top e-reader vendor, edging out Amazon’s
Kindle, while the Apple iPad continued its dominance
of the tablet market, according to Bob O’Donnell, IDC
clients and displays VP.
O’Donnell credited BN’s Color Nook for the move,
stating Amazon’s lack of a color display offering is hindering
“Amazon’s B&W [black and white] Kindles outsold
B&N’s B&W Nooks, but the Color Nook made the difference,”
The e-reader market saw shipments fall to 3.3 million,
down from 6.5 million. Again, IDC sees the first
quarter as an aberration, with e-reader sales picking
up during the remainder of the year. A total of 16.2 million
e-readers are expected to ship during 2011, a 24
O’Donnell said the fall off in sequential month sales
was due to the large number of e-readers that sold during
the holiday period.
The research firm reported tablet PC sales fell 28
percent, compared with the prior quarter. However,
IDC remains optimistic on the category and hiked its
2011 shipment forecast to 53.5 million units, up from
IDC believes the increase will take place on the
backs of new tablet products that will begin shipping
during the remainder of the year.
“Like the PC market, media tablets had a bit of a challenging
quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic
issues and the post-holiday letdown took a
toll on demand,” said O’Donnell.
Since tablets have not been shipping for a full year,
only sequential comparisons are possible, IDC said.
IDC analysts blamed the shipment drops on a normal
first-quarter seasonality, slow economic conditions and
Apple’s iPad remained the top selling media tablet,
although it also saw sales tail off during the first
quarter. IDC did not release the exact decrease, but it
blamed supply-chain issues tied to the fact that early
word of the iPad 2’s release convinced some consumers
to delay purchases.
Samsung, Motorola and vendors that focus sales
efforts through carriers has their sales stunted due to
consumer’s unwillingness to sign up for data plans that
are required with the purchase.
“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,”
There were some positive points for these vendors.
Android OS-based tablets increased their share to 34
percent, up 8.2 percent for the quarter.