IDC says NZ tablet market booming - reveals surprise trend

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet with a Type Cover keyboard/cover attached

Market tracker IDC has revealed the Australasian tablet market grew 147% in the first quarter of this year, comparing it to the first quarter of 2012 - a sharp contrast with dropping PC sales.

Across Australasia, there was a 147% year-on-year in 2013 Q1, bringing the total market size up to 1.14 million units.

130,000 tablets were shipped into NZ, four times as many as the same quarter last year (34,000).

Within the booming market there are two trends.

One, Android tablets have gained on Apple's iPad - no surprise given the rise of cheaper Androids, particularly 7-inch models.

The second will raise more eyebrows. IDC sees Microsoft Windows-based tablets jumping from nowhere to 8% of Australasian sales and 10% in NZ. The survey period saw the release of the Microsoft-made Surface RT tablet, but not the just-released Surface Pro (Windows-based tablets are also being released by partners such as Dell, Acer, HP, Asus and Lenovo - most of whom also make Google Android-based models). IDC's figures are for shipments only, not sales.

Another difference on this side of the Tasman: Android has pulled ahead overall. 

Tablet shipments, Australia-New Zealand

Tablet shipments,  New Zealand, Q1 2013

Tablet shipments,  New Zealand, Q1 2012

All Windows figures include Windows 7, Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets. Source: IDC.

A lingering question: have buyers simply skipped a buying cycle, choosing to sweat their current laptop a little longer in favour of buying a tablet -  or are people quite happy creating content on a tablet, pointing to the death of the PC? Or are we heading for a hybrid device future of laptops with snap-off touchscreen displays?

"Users now have better access to a wide range of low to high-end tablets as well as different operating systems compared to last year. In 2012, an user would usually choose between an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab but now, a year later, brands like ASUS, Acer, and Microsoft would also appear on the user’s radar," says Suzanne Tai, Associate Market Analyst of IDC's ANZ Infrastructure Research Group.

Whitebox tablets have picked up significantly as well, driven with heavy promotions by retailers such as Aldi, Harvey Norman, K-Mart and Warehouse Stationary, Ms Tai says (Warehouse Stationery has just become an official Apple authorised reseller and has just started stocking the iPad and iPad Mini; the arrangement doesn't extend to regular Warehouse stores).

"Android is growing its foothold in the marketplace, thanks to Samsung's aggressiveness with promotions and channel strategies, as well as the influx of whitebox tablets. Additionally, Windows tablets are also gaining traction with entry of new models, pilot rollouts and implementations in commercial sector especially in education," the IDC analyst says.

The ANZ tablets market is expected to grow 46% in 2013 over 2012 due to the introduction of new tablets, increasing commercial uptake of tablets, increasing demand as a result of price drops and lastly, PC cannibalisation. In 2013, IDC expects to see increasing uptake of Windows and Android tablets stealing market share from iOS tablets.

"We will see more price competition within the tablets market especially with PC giants such as HP, ASUS and Acer introducing new cheap Android tablets to compete with the whitebox market," says Ms Tai.

"And let’s not forget the entry of Microsoft Surface Pro into the ANZ market in May 2013. This is bound to spark fierce battles among tablet vendors."


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8 Comments & Questions

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Totally agree, I am a high user of my iPad plus compendium keyboard for work.

10 hour battery life and extremely portable.

Still have a home pc for games and a laptop for occasional use with excel and some creation but use iPad almost extensively.

Suspect with tablets and gaming systems, pcs and laptops will fall Away somewhat.

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And how is your traffic split here at NBR? Other stats regularly show iOS devices get used as lot more than others.

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According to Nielsen NetRatings, OS visits to NBR ONLINE are as follows.

Android devices account for 6.07% of visits, one percent or so behind iPad and iPhone.

1. Windows 7 39.27%
2. Windows XP 16.36%
3. Mac OS X Intel 11.34%
4. iPad 7.76%
5. iPhone OS 6 7.05%
6. Windows Vista 3.41%
7. Windows 8 3.34%
8. Android 4.1 1.90%
9. Android 2.3 1.61%
10. Android 1.5 1.51%
11. Linux 1.29%
12. Android 4.0 1.05%

Other platforms are sub-1%.

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Don't you mean "account for only 40% of iOS"? (ie, if you're going to wrap up all the Android OS devices vs iOS devices)

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iOS: 14.81% (almost all one version)
Android overall: 6.07% (split versions)

Apple is over double Android.

Windows Vista+: 46.02%
Apple: 26.17% (All OSX based)
Windows XP (released in 2001): 16.36%
Android: 6.07%
Linux 1.29%

Astonishingly high penetration of Apple devices, and that Windows XP percentage is a shocker.

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A big chunk of that WinXP figure is very likely to be from government/corporate sites, many of which are finally putting upgrade processes in place for 2014.

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Goes to show how thick the general public are. Tablets are gimmicky as all hell.

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They aren't even in the hunt compared with smart-phones.

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