Blog Post

iPad growth seen slowing in 2012, but that’s no disaster

Apple (s aapl) might not have as impressive a year in 2012 in terms of iPad growth as it did in 2011, according to some early predictions. Numbers from DisplaySearch (via Digitimes) on Friday indicate 9.7-inch flat panel shipments for iPads are expected to hit around 65 million in 2012, representing a relatively modest 35-percent increase over an estimated 48 million shipped in 2011.

Between 2010 — when the iPad was introduced — and 2011, Apple iPad shipments soared from 17 million to the estimated 48 million mentioned above. That’s an increase of 182 percent, but the situation was completely different: Apple’s iPad was introduced three months into 2010, and the market was almost completely untested. By the end of the year, it was pretty clear the iPad was here to stay, so consumers felt confident this wasn’t just a fad.

In 2012, Apple faces competition from low-cost devices like the Amazon’s Kindle Fire(s amzn). That alone probably won’t be enough to take the winds out of its sails, but it could stop Apple from having another year ruling the tablet landscape without a credible competitor in sight.

Projected growth of 35 percent is also just that: projected. Back in late 2010, Wall Street predicted Apple would sell 28 million iPads in 2011 (though later estimates offered more realistic estimates). Apple still has a new iPad to unveil this year, which could boast QXGA 2,048 x 1,536 resolution screens, which DisplaySearch believes will likely be provided by LG, Samsung and Sharp. It’s hard to predict what demand for a Retina Display iPad will be, and how keeping an iPad 2 on the shelves as a lower-cost option might affect shipment volume, should that rumor turn out to be true.

Plus, even if Apple just meets the 65-million mark predicted by DisplaySearch, that will still represent a volume just 30 million shy of 2011’s worldwide PC shipments from all manufacturers combined.

8 Responses to “iPad growth seen slowing in 2012, but that’s no disaster”

  1. Gigaom, so whats the point of your last paragraph, well know by now were on post oc era, doesnt mean youre going to throw away PCs anytime soon. Why dont you guys stop yourcrap fanboying Google/Apple and going after MSFT in most of your posts…!

  2. rick gregory

    First, quoting Digitimes is the news equivalent of quoting the National Enquirer. They’re laughably off-target. Please find real sources if you’re going to do this.

    Second… do you really need a run down of how many times the analyst community has low-balled Apple’s performance? I understand doing this crap if you really need the pageviews, but this is below the standards I expect from GigaOm. I come to you for news and analysis, not gossip I can get anywhere

  3. Krishna C

    You’re comparing 1 year’s worth of iPad sales to 1 quarter’s worth of PC sales. Why?

    “Worldwide shipments declined to 92.7 million in the fourth quarter, from 92.9 million a year earlier, IDC said. Gartner put the number at 92.2 million, down from 93.5 million.” (From your link)

    • tim jones

      Comparing 1 year’s worth of iPad sales to 1 quarter’s worth of PC sales to overhype Apple, when in reality, Apple’s overpriced fashion show-off trinkets are for the 1 percent wealthy people.