Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Tablet shipments of Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) slumped in the first three months of 2015 as it did not launch its new products until the middle of the quarter, according to research firm IDC.
Asustek’s global tablet shipments fell 30.6 percent year-on-year to 1.8 million units in the first quarter, marking the steepest decline among the top five makers, IDC said in a research report published last week.
The Taiwan-based company also fell one spot in the world rankings to fourth place in the first quarter, with its tablet market share dropping to 3.8 percent from 5.2 percent in the same period of last year.
IDC said Asustek’s new Transformer tablet lineup was launched in mid-February, leading to lower than expected growth in the first quarter.
However, the company’s new “Chi” 2-in-1 devices have been well received in developed markets, while its Fonepad 7 continues to gain traction in emerging markets as the demand for voice capabilities grows in those regions, IDC said.
Apple Inc. continued to lead the overall market in the first quarter, shipping 12.6 million iPads and capturing 26.8 percent of the market in terms of volume. Samsung Electronics Co. maintained its second place with a 19.1 percent market share, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd. with a 5.3 percent share.
South Korean LG Electronics Inc., which returned to the tablet business in late 2013, was the other company in the top five. In the first quarter, it shipped 1.4 million tablets and held a 3.1 percent share as it continued to benefit from U.S. carriers’ strategy of bundling connected tablets with existing customers.
In the first three months of the year, the worldwide tablet market recorded a year-on-year decline for the second consecutive quarter, with overall shipments of tablets and 2-in-1 devices falling 5.9 percent to 47.1 million units.
“The market slowdown that we witnessed last quarter is continuing to impact the tablet segment, but we see some growth areas that are starting to materialize,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director of tablets at IDC, in the research report.
“Cellular-enabled tablets are outgrowing the rest of the market, providing an additional revenue stream for OEMs and mobile operators,” he said. “In addition to driving higher usage than Wi-Fi-only tablets, cellular-enabled tablets also help position the segment as true mobile solutions rather than stay-at-home devices.”
(By Jeffrey Wu)