Worldwide tablet shipments to blast past 100 million for the year, says ABI Research

The second quarter of 2012 set a new record for media tablet shipments reaching nearly 25 million units with total shipments growing 36 percent quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and 77 percent year-over-year, according to new data from market intelligence firm ABI Research.

Apple iPad shipments represented nearly 69 percent of worldwide volumes for the period, according to a preliminary assessment of vendor share by ABI Research. Gains in the quarter also came from Samsung (8.1 percent) and ASUS (4 percent), while RIM (1.0 percent) experienced the most significant decline. Shipments of Dell and LG ceased in the period as both companies retrench for future tablet offerings. Worldwide shipments of media tablets are expected to exceed 100 million units in 2012.

“Most impressive about Apple’s 17.0 million tablet shipments in 2Q’2012 was it nearly matched 2010 total worldwide shipments of 17.3 million for all vendors,” says Jeff Orr, ABI Research senior practice director for mobile devices.

Company representatives noted that nearly 1 million of its iPad 2 devices were shipped to U.S. education customers during the period, which contributed to the company’s growth but also its continuing average selling price (ASP) decline. ABI Research estimates a 4 percent drop in ASP for the company quarter over quarter and nearly 19 percent year over year.

Despite shipment restrictions imposed on Samsung, the South Korean manufacturer maintained its second-place share for the second quarter of 2012, followed by Amazon and ASUS.

The majority of tablet shipments only contain Wi-Fi support, which restricts device use to homes, facilities and public hotspots. In the second quarter of the year, less than 27 percent of new shipments included a mobile broadband (3G/4G) modem module, down 12 percent year over year. A more competitive marketplace and consumers looking to keep personal expenses down have contributed to this trend, ABI Research said.