Acer falters as tablet surge continues

Apple pretty much created the market for consumer tablets with the original iPad, and it’s by far the most dominant player in the space. The latest numbers from research firm IDC confirm last week’s report that Apple had 68% of the market in the second quarter of 2012. While the previous week’s report treated the Android market as a whole, IDC has shipment numbers for the individual tablet makers using Google’s OS.

As one might expect, Samsung was the number-two player in the market. Its shipments more than doubled, and its market share rose from 7.3% to 9.6%. Asus’ shipments went up by more than a factor of two, too, and its market share increased from 2.6% to 3.4%. Amazon slotted in between those two for third place overall. The Kindle Fire wasn’t selling in the second quarter of last year, but 1.2 million of ’em shipped in Q2 2012, good for 5% of the pie.

Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Asus all enjoyed increased shipments and market share, so who suffered? Acer, which dropped from third to fifth place. The company shipped 39% fewer tablets year-over-year, ending up with only 1.5% of the market. The number of “other” tablets dropped, as well. Smaller players shipped slightly fewer tablets overall, and their market share was cut in half, to just 12.3%.

Google’s new Nexus 7 didn’t factor into the Q2 results, but it looks like manufacturer Asus is planning to build at least 3 million of the things. DigiTimes’ sources in the supply chain say many Tegra 3 processors have been ordered for Nexus production.

Interestingly, IDC suggests Apple’s share of the market may actually increase as Win8 and other new devices crowd the market this fall. Confused consumers unsure of which “other” tablet to buy could simply default to the market leader. That doesn’t sound too far-fetched, although I suspect some folks will simply default to Windows 8 devices when they’re finally available.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    acer will never be more than a single digit player. They don’t have enough money for advertising. Half the people don’t even know who acer is. So they have to resort to selling cheap computers to get people to buy. Problem is, they’re not cheap enough in the tablet market.
    If you’re gonna charge $300-350 for a tablet, it’d better not be some nondescript tablet.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    We went for an Acer Iconia Tab (I think it’s the A510) a few months ago. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I keep comparing Android tablets with Apple products. I don’t know if it’s just ICS, but the Iconia Tab felt really sluggish. The software looks ok and it’s usable, but I think Google and its tablet partners can do a lot better when it comes to the overall experience. As it is, ICS is sluggish, choppy and laggy.

    On paper the Iconia Tab looks more capable than those little iPad Touch devices that I think only use a 600MHz SoC or something like that. The experience is quite different. I guess it all boils down to how the software takes advantage of the hardware beneath it.

    As for Acer itself, maybe I won’t fault them for what ICS should have delivered in the first place. Acer and the rest are practically just vessels for what is ultimately an operating system driving the entire ecosystem. I like the Tab by itself. Heck, if Apple wrote the OS for it I’m sure it’s gonna be a really great product.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]ICS is sluggish, choppy and laggy.[/quote<] There are literally dozens of devices that run ICS smoothly and quickly. I still don't think Android is as smooth as iOS but ICS really closed the gap to the point that it doesn't matter. Acer has a way of missing the point, burdening devices with crapware and making OS/UI additions that haven't been thought through. I haven't actually used an A510 but my impressions with the A200 left me unimpressed. All the stock android UI ran fine, but Acer's own "ring" app and custom lock screen seemed laggy, running at maybe 15-20fps instead of the smoother 30-60 that honeycomb/ICS run at. It seemed to do thinks in the background when locked, too. I don't know what, but it would be super-laggy when trying to unlock it after it'd been sitting on the desk for an hour or so. Rushed product, insufficient testing - much like Acer's overheating laptops.

      • David
      • 7 years ago

      It’s Acer; ICS is a smooth OS. Go to a store and try out an Asus Transformer for a real ICS experience.

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    Isn’t Acer the company who’s CEO said something of the like “We’re not making any money on our cheap[ass] ultrabooks, but I guarantee you that next time they’ll be even cheaper!”

    This is what happens when you’re chasing the bottom end of the segment.

    1-Release a good product
    2-Follow-up with another good product [b<]with the same name/brand[/b<] (iPad, Galaxy, Transformer) That way consumers can identify and relate. Oh, and if you're nice, explain the second part of 2 to HTC.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]That doesn't sound too far-fetched, although I suspect some folks will simply default to Windows 8 devices when they're finally available.[/quote<] Why should they? They didn't default to Windows tablets even when they were the only tablets on the market. I see no reason for them to "default" to them now. The Windows name means nothing with regards to tablets. It means something with regards to laptops and desktops. When people think of tablets, universally they think of iPad. That's what the word, "default" implies they'd do, imho.

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      Agreed. Only enthousiasts would [i<]default[/i<] to Win8

        • trackerben
        • 7 years ago

        A reasonable assumption if the Surface doesn’t turn out to be a disruptor like the Nexus 7 appears to be in the tablet space. RT will have a fine touchOS, feature Office built-in, and likely sport class-leading conformal keyboards and ecosystem updates. Industry people know that Microsoft needs to maintain its Metro appstore to keep price pressure off mainline Windows pricing. Buyers at all levels can act confidently on these near-certainties. If Surface+Office turns out more polished and useable on launch than Android ICS and is competitively priced, lookers may come to feel that It is the less risky second choice to iPads.

        So far about 100-150 million tablets have been sold globally, that leaves another 1-2 billion potential captures and upgraders up for grabs and there’s always room for a competent disruptor in such a nascent market.

    • GasBandit
    • 7 years ago

    I own a nexus 7, I really like it. Especially since I tether it to my phone via Bluetooth. I am posting this in a Kroger bathroom stall on my Nexus, in fact.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      lol

      • codedivine
      • 7 years ago

      Oh bluetooth tethering works? May I ask what is your tethering setup?

        • GasBandit
        • 7 years ago

        You certainly may. The Nexus 7 supports it natively – when you pair it to your phone, there’s a checkbox for “use for internet access” under its properties. On my rooted Motorola Droid (yes, the old plain first gen Droid) I use Android Wifi Tether (https://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/) set to bluetooth mode, though it also supports wifi obviously. I use bluetooth because it chews up less battery, albeit at the cost of shorter range.. but since both devices are physically on my person, it makes sense.

        Just a warning though.. the nexus 7 gets… confused… if you’re connected to a wifi internet connection at the same time it is connected via bluetooth to the tethering phone. I use the “bluetooth auto connect” app to automatically connect to the paired droid whenever bluetooth is turned on, and then I use Tasker to make it easy to toggle one context to the other (wifi on/bluetooth off vs wifi off/bluetooth on). But that’s just to save clicks. Nothing says I couldn’t just turn them on and off manually.

        I think FoxFi, a common tethering app that in many cases does not require root, also supports bluetooth tethering.

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          That’s useful info right there. The “feature” of crippled BT PAN is one of my gripes about Androids up to 4.0x. Lets hope Google overcomes its UI ideology (or Apple patents) to optimize its system controls. With Nexus models there’s little to stop it otherwise.

    • Vulk
    • 7 years ago

    You have to ask how much oxygen is going to be left in the market for MS to break in with 2 OS’s before you project disruption of the players currently in the market. It could easily have the same impact Windows Phone did in the tablet market. it could massively disrupt the existing players as well. But considering how I already have an iPad, see no reason to move to Android and am repelled by Windows 8 on the desktop, and the switch to Metro has my IT masters scrambling and looking for alternatives to our all MS shop in case Windows 9 doesn’t look like it will restore sanity, yeah. Sitting here today, the future just looks rosy on MS’s bet all or nothing gamble. So I have a hard time not agreeing with IDC.

    We’ll see how it plays out. It might be a good thing if Windows 8 is more compelling than the RC makes it seem. I could keep using my .NET programming skills at least.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    “Confused consumers unsure of which “other” tablet to buy could simply default to the market leader. That doesn’t sound too far-fetched, although I suspect some folks will simply default to Windows 8 devices when they’re finally available.”

    I’m sure there are still a lot of companies where IT is allergic to anything without Wintel stickers. The problem for MS, though, is that such companies are painfully conservative in every respect. They will not be the first to adopt Win 8 tablets, or Win 8 anything. Without early adopters, there will never be any late adopters.

      • Madman
      • 7 years ago

      Remember that cheap WinRT tablets will be empty, as in – no apps available – empty. They cannot run Windows apps as far as I understand, only new Metro apps. And expensive Win8 Pro tablets are, well, expensive…

      Also I cannot quite figure how enterprise can upload in house software to tablets, do they need to upload everything to the AppMarket, or is there side-loading available.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        Corporations can have their own marketplaces that are controlled, and only approved apps deployed.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        I’m sure that Atom-powered Windows 8 tablets will be competitive with ARM-powered tablets, price-wise. I’d still gladly pay up for an Ivy Bridge one, though.

      • Vulk
      • 7 years ago

      Corporate IT is very flexible these days. BYOD is becoming a dominant philosophy because forcing users onto a corporate platform makes for unhappy customers and increased costs. Applications are moving to having a web interface and even a cloud middle layer that can interact over SSL, so increasingly it becomes less and less important where you are and what OS you have. The thing is that’s not good for MS or Apple, because it removes the lock in and forces them to compete.

      So we’ll see how these things go. I just wanted to point out that your Wintel Sticker comment isn’t as true as it was even 3 years ago.

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        I think there’s a lot of diversity in Corporate IT. The trends you mention exist, no doubt. But the super-conservative places also still exist, and probably are interested in Win8 tablets as a way of fending off users who are clamoring for tablets. My point is just that such places, ironically, are also the least likely to be early adopters of Win8 tablets for the very conservatism that makes them most interested in adopting them longer term.

      • rogthewookiee
      • 7 years ago

      There is a reason for the allergy. I don’t officially work in the IT department I happen to be a more technical user than my colleagues. The more heterogeneous your support base the more time it takes to solve any issue!

      The bigger barrier to tablets in my workplace is the requirement that all data is encrypted.

        • blastdoor
        • 7 years ago

        There are other reasons for the allergy, too. In the case of Apple, there has been a long standing “f-u” attitude towards IT, not just in tone, but in substance (apple’s efforts to provide support for integrating Macs into Windows networks are improving, but still seem kind of half-a$$ed — 3rd party products like DAVE and AdmitMac shouldn’t be necessary). And of course Android is a security disaster waiting to happen, so I see the reluctance there, too.

        Meanwhile, MS has enthusiastically catered to corporate IT. So the love for Wintel is quite understandable. If it wasn’t for those pesky end-users, everything would be coming up roses in MS-land these days.

        The company that figures out how to cross over and serve the customers they have previously not served very well (without totally alienating their historic base) could do very well. For Apple, that means doing a better job meeting the needs of IT without sacrificing all the things that consumers love about Apple products. For MS, that means making products that are more appealing to consumers without alienating IT. Neither of these will be easy for either company.

    • trackerben
    • 7 years ago

    With a low price, decent build, and (finally) a near-competitive level of OS refinement, the new Nexus models are the only Androids worth getting. It’s possible most niggling UI issues may be resolved in the next few updates, and only Google-branded Nexus tablets and phones are assured of this upgrade path. I would wait for a future model with flash storage but the 16GB units now available are good for a try.

    Edit: It would wise to wait for the supposed iPad mini. But then again Nexi are cheap enough to try and later on sell or give away if it comes to that.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I have nothing nice to say about Acer tablets

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      I just have nothing to say about Acer Tablets, because really, i cannot think of a single Acer tablet off the top of my head, which either means they don;t have any, or they are completely unspectacular and average or below in every way.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        My local Fry’s has plenty of Acer tablets. They’re $50 to $100 more than equivalent tablets from other vendors. They don’t even offer anything that competes with ASUS’s newer tablets.

        Why would anyone buy them?

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Why would anyone buy them?[/quote<] ...because they like paying more for premium features such as uneven manufacturing tolerences and added creaky sounds.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            That’s what I was thinking.

            Aparently, they’ve got the Nexus tablet in stock, but they’re *not going to put it out on display* because they expect to sell all they have via their web site or via people just asking associates. The thing is, I don’t doubt they will!

            It’s one thing for a product to fly off the shelves, but this has gone a step further to skipping the shelves entirely.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    There’s going to be a large shift for Asus next quarter when the Nexus 7 shows up in sales. Had a chance to play with the device and while I’m not a tablet person I certainly was impressed by it.

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