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Tablets to hit 100M shipments in 2012: study

Although there are more tablets available to consumers, the sweeping majority still prefer Apple's iPad, according to a new study from ABI Research.

The iPad accounted for 69 percent of tablets shipped from April to June of this year, per ABI Research?s most recent study. However Android-powered tablets also gained some market share, particularly with Samsung devices.

 ?For marketers, there is not just one type of [tablet] user, which could be both an opportunity and a challenge,? said Jeff Orr, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, Oyster Bay, NY.

?The challenge is that there is not a one-size-fits-all behavior ? marketers need to align their goals and audience with the right device,? he said.

?The opportunity is that individual, more dynamic brands can perhaps be very successful with a hyper-focused approach on a particular device or operating system.?

Tablets take off
Between April and June, 25 million tablets were shipped worldwide. This marks a 36 percent quarter-over-quarter and 77 percent year-over-year growth.

Apple claims that one million iPad 2 devices were shipped to educational customers in the United States during the April to June time frame, which led to a smaller average selling price. ABI Research predicts that Apple?s average selling price slipped four percent during the quarter, which would represent a 19 percent year-over-year decline.

The market share from Samsung devices increased approximately eight percent quarter-over-quarter, making it the No. 2 manufacturer.

Amazon came in No. 3 with its market share, followed by Asus devices. Asus devices increased four percent quarter-over-quarter.

Research in Motion?s market share slipped one percent quarter-over-quarter.

Home devices
ABI?s research also points to tablets as being primarily at-home devices.

During the second quarter of 2012, 27 percent of tablets shipped included either a 3G or 4G connection, which is a 12 percent year-over-year decrease.

Of the tablets shipped with Wi-Fi, only 50 percent of users surveyed said that they had activated it, meaning that consumers are buying Wi-Fi devices as a security precaution, per Mr. Orr.

This shows how tablets are not only being used primarily with Wi-Fi but are also swapping out desktops as computing devices.

Consumers are also using their tablets to consume bigger pieces of content than they do on smartphones.

For example, additional data from a recent ABI Research study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that 70 percent of tablet owners surveyed said that they used their devices as entertainment and media hubs.

This shows the big opportunity for marketers to use tablets as a second screen during activities such as watching television.

?Forty percent of household networks have broadband, which is a great statistic, but 40 percent of broadband homes is not the majority,? Mr. Orr said.

?The biggest restriction that tablets have in the North American industry is the ability to connect,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York