Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

August 6, 2013

Tablet shipments slow; iPad release schedule blamed

NEW YORK (AP) — Worldwide shipments of tablet computers slowed down in the second quarter because Apple didn’t release a new model of its trend-setting iPad, research firm IDC said Monday.

Shipments totaled 45.1 million units in the April-June period, down nearly 10 percent from the first three months of the year. Still the second-quarter total is up nearly 60 percent from a year ago, a sign that the market continues to grow.

“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” said Tom Mainelli, a research director at IDC. “With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors.”

Apple normally releases a new iPad in the spring, but it has moved to fall launches to take advantage of the lucrative holiday shopping season. That means people who want iPads may be holding out for a new model. Samsung and other rivals have released new tablet models this spring, but IDC says those launches didn’t get the spillover boost that a new iPad would have provided.

Mainelli said he expects weakness to continue in the July-September period, but tablet shipments should pick up again in the holiday quarter, when Apple and others are expected to release new products.

Besides a new iPad, Amazon.com Inc. is likely to refresh its Kindle Fire line, while Google Inc. is expected to come out with a new 10-inch Nexus model. Google released a new 7-inch Nexus last week.

Apple remains the leading maker of tablets, with 14.6 million shipped in the April-June period. But as disclosed in the company’s earnings report last month, shipments fell 14 percent from a year ago.

IDC says Apple’s market share fell to 32 percent in the second quarter, compared with 60 percent in the same period in 2012.

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