In the second quarter of 2010, shipments of mini-note/tablet PCs were down 4% Q/Q, but up 29% Y/Y. However, without the 3.3 million iPads shipped in the quarter, shipments of mini-note/tablet PCs would have been down 14% Q/Q and 13% Y/Y. Clearly, there was an “iPad Effect” in the portable PC market, according to a new DisplaySearch report, the Quarterly Advanced Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, which also tracks tablet PCs 5.0” and larger. The effect might have been even more pronounced, but Apple struggled to fill demand, with shipment times listed as 7-10 business days for all of Q2’10, and shipments into Japan and China were just beginning at the end of the period.
Overall, the portable PC market posted strong Y/Y unit growth in Q2’10, surging 32% to 50.4M units. However, not all market segments were equal, and it is apparent that the combination of iPads and falling ASPs took share from other parts of the mini-note/tablet PCs segment and from the ultraportable segments of the market. Buyers chose iPad as a thin, lightweight device but buyers seeking more functionality chose larger notebooks, with only slightly higher ASPs. The price gap between the average 11.6″ ultraportable notebook and the average 15.6″ portable notebook PC fell to less than US$60 in Q2’10.
Revenue in the mini-note/tablet PC category was also positively impacted by the higher ASP of the iPad. Despite the Q/Q drop in unit volume for the category, revenues surged past US$4 billion as ASPs increased 21% Q/Q and 14% Y/Y.
DisplaySearch expects mini-notes to continue to sell well in emerging economies to first-time PC buyers. However, looking forward, we expect tablets like the iPad will continue to take market share from mini-notes and the ultraportable segment in regions where PCs have high penetration rates. The industry consensus is that a successful business model for tablets will center around an a la carte method for selecting the software capabilities (apps) for the device and content consumption (though the ability to create some content will certainly be possible), as opposed to the typical PC market trend that is built upon a Windows operating system and office suite applications for content creation.
John F. Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research, said in the press release, “The end of 2007 witnessed the launch of mini-notes. The first quarter of 2010 signaled the birth of the tablet PC, and possibly by extension, the beginning of the end of the mini-note market, especially in developed regions.”
MacDailyNews Take: The iPad unveiling in first quarter of 2010 signaled the birth of the tablet PC following the sorrow of nearly a decade of Microsoft Windows-hampered Tablet PC stillbirths.
Jacobs continued, “Apple has leveraged their successful iPhone business model onto the iPad. More than 50 other brands have tablets in varying stages from development to mass production. Unlike the mini-note/netbook model, which was not much more than a low-cost, basic mobile PC based on the Wintel platform, the majority of tablets have, or will, choose a combination of next generation Intel Atom CPUs or ARM-based CPUs paired with a version of Android, or in the case of HP, webOS.”
Jacobs added, “Although Apple now holds the vast majority of tablet PC market share, the plethora of other brands that have, or will soon be launching, their own tablets are sure to capitalize on what at this point appears to be widespread consumer demand for very thin and very light devices with exceptional battery life and a primary focus on portability and content consumption.”
Mini-notes: Clamshell style devices with display sizes ranging from 7.0″ to 10.2″; also commonly referred to as netbooks.
Tablet PCs: Tablet style devices like the Apple iPad with display sizes from 5.0″ to 10.2″; also commonly referred to as slates.
More info can be found in DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Advanced Notebook PC Report here.