The worldwide tablet market grew by a healthy 11.5 percent in Q3, according to IDC. Apple kept it’s top spot in terms of market share, but still saw declines in shipments.
The first thing I notice in the announcement is who rounds out the top 5. I’m not surprised to see Samsung at #2, and I can nod my head at ASUS and Lenovo. But RCA is not a name I associate with tablets. I’ll concede that my perspective is skewed toward the US market, but you can’t tell me that RCA is on anyone’s list of electronics brands to watch.
Here’s what IDC had to say on RCA:
RCA. was a surprise entry into the top 5 list due to its distribution deal with some of the largest retailers in the world. With low-cost devices driving volume, RCA’s tablets have been a hit during the back-to-school season and will likely be in high demand during Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season.
I’m especially curious about that last part, “…will likely be in high demand during Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season.” If that’s true, then I expect those sales to come from WalMart and possibly the discount clubs. But I honestly don’t know who’s selling all these damn RCA tablets.
A lot of the market belongs to “Other” manufacturers.
After getting past my shock (maybe snobbery) regarding RCA, the next thing that stands out for me is how much of worldwide market share belongs to Other companies. If RCA makes the list with 1.8% marketshare, but everyone else gets lumped into “Other”, then I’m hypothesizing that we’ve got a lot of shops snapping up .2, .1 or even .05% marketshare.
I’d really like to know who the guys at the bottom are and how they are differentiating. It goes without saying that they are fighting it out in the developing countries & that’s where the growth is going to be long-term. Some of the other guys may end up being global powerhouses in 5-10 years.
The market is still wide open
I’ve written about Android’s emergence as the dominant mobile OS, but it seems the hardware game is still wide open. We know Apple is going to stick to the higher-end with a few concessions to middle-income. But the rest of the players are still duking it out and that means opportunity.
I think the tablets are what flat-panels were a few years ago. Remember when Vizio was considered a cheap-o alternative to the Sony? Now, they are considered a peer. The lower price point and rapid mobile adoption gives a lot of OEMs a chance to break into the tablet market like Vizio did with TVs.
I’m making myself a note to check the Q4 numbers in early January. Be interesting so see if any new names come up.