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Report: Demand For Windows-based Tablets Increasing

By - Source: Strategy Analytics | B 21 comments

3.4 million Windows 8-based tablets were sold worldwide in 1Q13.

Strategy Analytics revealed that demand for Windows 8/RT-based tablets is slowly climbing, capturing 7.5-percent of the market in 1Q13 with 3.4 million units sold worldwide.

Naturally that's good news for Microsoft, as a mere 400,000 units were reportedly sold globally in 3Q12, a number that had remained relatively unchanged since the end of 2011. Thus, Microsoft seemingly has Windows 8 to thank for its boom in tablet business despite what critics are saying about the platform in the PC sector.

However there are a number of factors that continue to hold back shipments. Peter King, Director of Tablets at Strategy Analytics, said these factors include a very limited distribution, a shortage of top tier apps, and continued customer confusion. To Microsoft's defense, the company is working on all three issues, making the tablets – especially Surface RT and Pro – more easily accessible on the market. The Windows Store continues to build its library of apps and Windows "Blue" is slated to help with the customer confusion aspect later this year.

That said, Microsoft should expect to see better results in 2Q13. Meanwhile, Apple continues to dominate the branded tablet sector, selling 19.5 million mixed iPad units in 1Q13, up compared to 11.8 million units sold in 1Q12. Branded Android tablets came in second during the same quarter, selling 17.6 million units compared to 1Q12's measly 6.4 million units. Overall, Apple went from owning 63.1-percent in 1Q12 to 48.2-percent in 1Q13 whereas Android jumped from 34.2-percent in 1Q12 to 43.4-percent in 1Q13.

"Global branded tablet shipments reached an all-time high of 40.6 million units in Q1 2013, surging 117 percent from 18.7 million in Q1 2012," King said. "Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong. Apple produced a solid performance this quarter as the Mini had its first full term."

However that's only branded units, AKA Nexus, Galaxy Tab and whatnot. When white-label tablets are thrown into the mix, the numbers change dramatically with Android chomping on 52-percent of the global tablet market and Apple only commanding 41-percent. The bulk of the white-label tablets are based on low-budget Android models aimed at a different market than the branded units.

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  • 2 Hide
    del35 , April 30, 2013 7:21 AM
    Given the choice of buying a jailinamoron Apple iPad or a Microsoft tablet as a gift for someone, I choose to go with Microsoft, although I payed nearly the same price and ran the risk that the person I was giving it too, due to his lack of technological sophistication, would have preferred an iPad. I made the right decision and given the option he didn't want to exchange it for an iPad. I agree that more apps are needed, but that is being addressed swiftly; it seems people much rather have freedom than be jailed in by an iPad and turned into an Apple cashcow.
  • 1 Hide
    cscott_it , April 30, 2013 7:58 AM
    With Windows 8 and with Microsoft and partners refining tablets (and Intel soon to release much improved mobile parts) - I can see peoples interest increase. It may not be as powerful as your desktop, but it would be nice to have a good (light) x86 tablet. With time, I think that Windows x86 tablets will become more competitive with the established mobile tablet market (iPad & Android).
    Mind you, they will always be more expensive then their Android whitelabel counter-parts, but I don't see why you couldn't get a workable Windows 8 x86 tablet for $400 - $500 with decent specs (not a core i7 or have 8GB of RAM or have a 128GB SSD - might use cheap slow flash storage, but still be a serviceable device.)
  • 7 Hide
    bystander , April 30, 2013 8:03 AM
    otacon72:
    Quote:
    lmao...typical Android fanboy. Worst than Apple fanboys at this point.

    I don't see a single mention or hint about Android in that quote.
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • -7 Hide
    mforce2 , April 30, 2013 8:04 AM
    Quote:
    Given the choice of buying a jailinamoron Apple iPad or a Microsoft tablet as a gift for someone, I choose to go with Microsoft, although I payed nearly the same price and ran the risk that the person I was giving it too, due to his lack of technological sophistication, would have preferred an iPad. I made the right decision and given the option he didn't want to exchange it for an iPad. I agree that more apps are needed, but that is being addressed swiftly; it seems people much rather have freedom than be jailed in by an iPad and turned into an Apple cashcow.

    Hallelujah, may Bill Gates be with you forever my son and protect you from Apple and Google. Everyone knows Windows everywhere is the future.
    As you said it might not have apps and all that nonsense and people might prefer Android tablets or iPads but it's only because they haven't seen the light yet.
    Thank God for consumers: it's just as expensive, it doesn't do as much but I bought it anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , April 30, 2013 8:16 AM
    All of these hardware questions must be analyzed in the lens of the times. The global economic situation is still fragile. The choice often is not simply which is better or cheaper, but which is more reputable. A new Windows OS is an unknown quantity. A Windows tablet is an unknown quantity since it hasn't been done until recently. So, it makes sense that the pickup for anything that is new is going to be a little slow. Apple has more or less been seen as first to the tablet market, so much of the time it is the default response from consumers who aren't up for taking a risk. It's why Google's Android, despite its popularity, has taken so long to make serious traction against Apple's and its iOS. It's why Window's tablets have taken until now to show real growth numbers.
    This applies not just to computers, but many industries. We are in a difficult financial situation globally. People don't have a lot of money to spend at will, and even those that do have certain psychological incentives not to (concern about if they'll be able to keep their jobs, if another crisis is around the corner). As such, the cycles on products have to lengthen. We have to do a better job at recognizing that. Potential successes are going to take a little more time to reveal themselves.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , April 30, 2013 8:24 AM
    correction, the demand has been there the whole time. Companies are finally putting out tablets that are at an appropriate price, and with better quality than their first attempts.
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , April 30, 2013 8:39 AM
    I played with a Pro 2 weeks ago and was duly impressed with everything but the display... I wish it filled the whole tablet edge to edge instead of having those fat borders all the way around. Regardless... I'm trading in my ultrabook at work for a Pro... the ultrabook was primarily for travel (my regular laptop is a huge fat beast of an elitebook) and the Pro does everything I need it to do and then some.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , April 30, 2013 10:26 AM
    I can flash my Android just under 2 minutes, then put back the apps. sync to my Google account just under 5 minutes.
    Even my non-technical friend can figure it out by himself.
    With Windows, none techie people still needs trained people to do it for them.
  • 0 Hide
    Sakkura , April 30, 2013 11:04 AM
    How much of this "growth" is just Microsoft releasing the Surface and Surface Pro in more countries? I'd say a lot of it.
    Still, the Surface Pro is actually decent. If they can refine on it, fix some of its shortcomings, they have a potential winner. At least until the next craze (after tablets) begins, be it wearable computing or something else.
  • 0 Hide
    catfishtx , April 30, 2013 11:19 AM
    You know, they can all brag about how many apps are in their app store, but with Windows, I already own all the applications I need and want anyway. All I want is a decent performing x86 compatible tablet that can handle an occasional Word document, check email on the road, maybe stream some Netflix, or whatever. A Jack-of-all-Trades tablet as an extension of my JoaT desktop. I am just not willing to spend a ton of $$$ on it.
  • 0 Hide
    chumly , April 30, 2013 11:32 AM
    If you're a gamer wanting to get into the tablet scene for Windows, you're going to have to wait for the AMD Z-60 tablets to come out. Intel and nVidia graphics simply cannot compete. They've already announced them (particularly with Vizio) and from what I'm seeing they are extremely impressive.

    (as a side note, the new comment interface at Tom's is completely broken.)
  • 0 Hide
    randomstar , April 30, 2013 2:08 PM

    Quote:
    Given the choice of buying a jailinamoron Apple iPad or a Microsoft tablet as a gift for someone, I choose to go with Microsoft, although I payed nearly the same price and ran the risk that the person I was giving it too, due to his lack of technological sophistication, would have preferred an iPad. I made the right decision and given the option he didn't want to exchange it for an iPad. I agree that more apps are needed, but that is being addressed swiftly; it seems people much rather have freedom than be jailed in by an iPad and turned into an Apple cashcow.

    lmao...typical Android fanboy. Worst than Apple fanboys at this point.
    Look again, where does the poster say anything about android?
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , April 30, 2013 5:25 PM
    Demand has always been there, there just weren't any actual products available.
  • 0 Hide
    twelch82 , April 30, 2013 5:25 PM
    It's not a bad tablet OS. The reason why it stinks as a desktop OS is because it was clearly designed for mobile; not the desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , April 30, 2013 5:27 PM
    Demand has always been there, there just weren't any actual products available.
  • 0 Hide
    soundping , April 30, 2013 5:33 PM
    Drop one and you'll find out these tablets can't get repaired.
  • 0 Hide
    r3dl1n3 , April 30, 2013 6:33 PM
    Quote:
    I can flash my Android just under 2 minutes, then put back the apps. sync to my Google account just under 5 minutes.
    Even my non-technical friend can figure it out by himself.
    With Windows, none techie people still needs trained people to do it for them.

    Judging by your post I'd say you haven't ever used a Windows 8 /RT tablet.. I can log in to any windows 8 /RT computer or tablet with my Microsoft account (which by the way can be ANY email address, MS doesn't force you to use their email Like Google does).. Once I sign in.. all my setting sync from SkyDrive.. including my Desktop background, favorites emails etc.. and if I want all my apps.. I just click the app store and it tells me what apps are missing and with one click I can install all of them.
  • 0 Hide
    spat55 , April 30, 2013 7:04 PM
    I would rather have android on my tablet, if I got one and on my phone, as they run nice and light, have a good market and can be rooted fairly easily. I personally think windows should stay desktop side, although it could be good for businesses to have windows on there employees handhelds I find it holds back the desktop variant of windows os.
  • 0 Hide
    MichaelSP , April 30, 2013 11:46 PM
    Where on Earth are all these devices going?! We always hear about companies shipping millions upon millions of devices each year, or even each quarter both mobiles, tablets and PCs. I mean it makes sense that people upgrade but surely the market has to slow down some time? I guess there are around 7000 million but...phew there are lots of devices selling still. Will it last?
  • 0 Hide
    Timmy225 , May 1, 2013 4:01 AM
    Give me an Apple any day over a OS from MS, heck anything rather than the MS spyware.
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