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iPad Drives Tablet Market Growth, Microsoft Surface vs. Others, USB Hub/Card Reader for iPad, and More

This Week's iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Apple TV News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2012.08.10

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IDC: Strong Apple Shipments Drive Robust Tablet Market Growth in Second Quarter

PR: A record-setting quarter for Apple's iPad led to a better-than-anticipated second quarter for the tablet market, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet Tracker. Total worldwide tablet shipments for the second quarter of 2012 (2Q12) are estimated at 25 million units; up from 18.7 in the first quarter of 2012, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 33.6% and a robust year-over-year growth rate of 66.2% - up from 15 million units in the second quarter of 2011. IDC will release final shipment totals for the quarter later this month.

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year," says Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices. "The vast majority of consumers continue to favor the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets - especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference."

Apple shipped 17 million iPads during the quarter, up from 11.8 million units in 1Q12 and well above its previous record of 15.4 million in 4Q11. Apple wasn't the only company to experience solid growth in the second quarter. Four of the top five worldwide vendors saw their shipments increase year over year. Samsung experienced exceptional growth, and landed in second place with 2.4 million units shipped, up from 1.1 million units a year ago. Amazon rebounded from a sluggish first quarter to post shipments of 1.2 million units (the company, which ships its Fire tablet only in the US, entered the market in 4Q11). ASUS shipped 855,454 units, well above its total of 397,048 units a year ago. Finally, only fifth-placed Acer saw its year-over-year numbers decline, as it shipped 385,458 units this quarter, down from 629,222 units a year ago. It's worth noting that shipments of the well-received Google/ASUS cobranded Nexus 7 aren't reflected in these totals, as that product officially began shipping into the channel in the third quarter of 2012.

IDC expects competition in the tablet space to continue to heat up in the second half of 2012. "In addition to major new products from Amazon and quite likely Apple, we can also expect an influx of Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows RT-based tablets starting in late October," says Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays. "If anything, there's a real risk that people will have too many options from which to choose this holiday season. Consumers baffled by the differences between Amazon and Google versions of Android, or Windows 8 and Windows RT, may well default to market leader Apple. Or they may simply choose to remain on the sideline for another cycle."

Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Media Tablet Shipments, Second Quarter 2012 (Preliminary)
(Unit shipments are in thousands)
Vendor 2Q12 Shipments Market Share 2Q11 Shipments Market Share 2Q12/2Q11 Growth
1. Apple 17,042 68.2% 9,248 61.5% 84.3%
2. Samsung 2,391 9.6% 1,099 7.3% 117.6%
3. 1,252 5.0% 0 n/a n/a
4. Asus 855 3.4% 397 2.6% 115.5%
5. Acer 385 1.5% 629 4.2% -38.7%
Others 3,067 12.3% 3,668 24.4% -16.4%
All Vendors 24,994 100% 15,042 100% 66.2%

Table Notes: Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.

Data for all vendors are reported for calendar periods.

Selection of Apps, Price, and Brand Most Important Factors in Tablet Purchase

PR: comScore, Inc. has announced the launch of comScore TabLens, its monthly syndicated service providing insights into US tablet ownership and usage. Based on a 3-month rolling sample of 6,000 US tablet owners, TabLens provides insight into tablet audiences, including demographics, content consumption habits, and device ownership, to provide the industry with the most up-to-date look at this expanding tablet market.

Tablets: The Fourth Screen Goes Mainstream
Today's US Tablet Owner Revealed

"comScore is pleased to announce the availability of TabLens to bring reliable monthly reporting and metrics around tablet devices and their owners," says Mark Donovan, comScore SVP of Mobile. "TabLens delivers the critical market insights needed by publishers, advertisers, OEMs, and network operators as they attempt to capture value in one of the fastest-growing and most profitable technology markets of all time."

Product features include:

  • Monthly reporting based on a 3-month rolling sample size of 6,000 US tablet owners and supported by comScore's trusted sampling and survey methodology that has been the foundation of comScore MobiLens since 2005.
  • Demographic insights including age, gender, household income, education, ethnicity, among others.
  • Granular insights into tablet ownership by device and operating system.
  • Insights into on-device media consumption including retail, social media, games, music, video and more to help companies keep a pulse on consumer trends.
  • Analogous structure to comScore MobiLens provides seamless comparison between mobile and tablet audiences and the most comprehensive view of today's connected consumer.

iOS and Android Tablets Capturing Different Consumer Segments

Demographic analysis of tablet audiences by platform reveals distinct differences across iPad, Android and Kindle Fire audiences (Note: For the purpose of this study, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total and analyzed separately). iPad owners skewed male (52.9 percent), slightly younger (44.5 percent under the age of 35) and wealthier (46.3 percent residing in households with income of $100k or greater) compared to an average tablet user during the three-month average period ending June 2012.

In comparison, Kindle Fire owners saw their audience skew female with 56.6 percent of its audience base represented by females. Both Android and Kindle Fire users saw household income below that of iPad owners, aligning more closely with household income reported by smartphone owners.

Demographic Profile: Tablet* and Smartphone Audience
3 month avg., ending June 2012
Total US Tablet Owners and Smartphone Subscribers, Age 13+
Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens
iPad Android**
Kindle Fire
Male 51.9% 50.0% 52.9% 50.9% 43.4%
Female 48.1% 50.0% 47.1% 49.1% 56.5%
13-17 6.0% 5.5% 4.7% 6.2% 5.5%
18-24 17.5% 13.0% 14.0% 12.9% 12.2%
25-34 24.6% 24.2% 25.8% 22.5% 24.7%
35-44 21.0% 20.6% 21.4% 20.1% 20.5%
45-54 16.7% 18.1% 16.8% 19.7% 16.9%
55-64 9.0% 11.0% 9.7% 10.8% 12.5%
65+ 5.3% 7.6% 7.5% 7.8% 7.6%
Household Income
<$25k 12.0% 7.8% 5.5% 11.7% 7.0%
$25k to <$50k 19.6% 18.1% 14.4% 20.4% 20.9%
$50K to <$75k 19.3% 19.1% 17.0% 20.0% 21.3%
$75k to <$100k 15.6% 16.7% 16.6% 15.3% 17.5%
$100k+ 33.5% 38.4% 46.3% 32.5% 33.3%

*comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose ebook reader devices are excluded from this definition.

**For this analysis, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total.

Apps, Price and Brand Most Important in Purchase Decision, Having Same OS as Phone Not as Important

In the fast-evolving and highly competitive tablet market, understanding the factors that are driving consumers purchase decisions is critical for both providers of operating systems and OEMs. Analysis of the top purchase consideration factors for an average tablet owner found that selection of apps and price of tablet led as the most important factors, both scoring 7.7 on a 10-point scale. Brand name of tablet and tablet operating system followed as the next most important factors each with a 7.5-rating, while music/video capabilities ranked #5 in purchase consideration factors with a rating of 7.4.

A comparative look at the purchase consideration factors for iPad and Kindle Fire owners found significant differences between what these consumers deemed important. iPad owners found selection of apps most important in their purchase decision, scoring an 8.1, closely followed by brand name of tablet with a rating of 8.0. Meanwhile, Kindle Fire owners placed the greatest weight on price of tablet (8.1), followed by selection of apps (7.5). Brand name of tablet and operating system were both scored as less important among Kindle Fire owners than among iPad owners.

Somewhat surprisingly, consumers did not place strong importance on having the same operating system across their tablet and smartphone, with this factor falling outside of the top five consideration factors for iPad, Kindle Fire and the average tablet owner. This finding highlights the potential for brands, such as Microsoft with its recently announced Surface Tablet, to see consumer adoption in the tablet market even though they might lack strong penetration in the smartphone market.

Top Purchase Consideration Factors for Tablet*, iPad, Android OS, and Kindle Fire Purchasers on a 10-Point Scale
3 month average ending June 2012
Total US Tablet Owners, Age 13+, US
Source: comScore TabLens
Total Tablet iPad Android** Tablet Kindle Fire
Selection of apps available for my tablet 7.7 8.1 7.3 7.5
Price of the tablet 7.7 7.2 7.9 8.1
Brand name of the tablet 7.5 8.0 7.0 7.4
Tablet operating system 7.5 7.8 7.4 7.2
Music and video capabilities 7.4 7.6 7.1 7.4
Recommended by friends/family 6.5 6.7 6.1 6.5
Tablet has same OS as my phone 6.4 6.6 6.3 6.1
Social networking features 6.2 6.3 6.0 6.3
Recommended by retail salesperson 5.3 5.3 5.3 5.2

* comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose ebook reader devices are excluded from this definition.

** For this analysis, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total.

Tablet Satisfaction High Across the Board, Highest Among iPad Owners

Device satisfaction is an important measure in understanding sentiment post-purchase, especially with consumers having a growing number of tablet options available to them. New TabLens data showed that tablet owners were highly satisfied with their respective devices, with the average overall satisfaction rating reaching 8.6 on a 10-point scale. In comparison, smartphone owners rated overall satisfaction with their device an 8.1. iPad owners experienced the highest level of satisfaction (8.8 rating), followed closely by Kindle Fire owners (8.7). Android tablet users (excluding Kindle Fire) had a slightly lower satisfaction rating of 8.2, but which was still very strong in absolute terms.

Overall Device Satisfaction for Smartphone, Tablet*, iPad, Android OS
and Kindle Fire Purchasers on a 10-Point Scale
3 month avg. ending June 2012
Total US Tablets Owners and Smartphone Subscribers
Age 13+
Source: comScore TabLens and comScore MobiLens
Total Smartphone Total Tablet iPad Android** Tablet Kindle Fire
Overall Satisfaction 8.1 8.6 8.8 8.2 8.7

* comScore defines a media tablet as a touchscreen tablet device with a slate form factor, a 7 inch or greater screen size and a data connection, but no voice plan. Single purpose ebook reader devices are excluded from this definition.

** For this analysis, Kindle Fire was excluded from the Android tablet total.

comScore TabLens: Today's US Tablet Owner Revealed

Tablets are drastically altering the digital landscape, influencing a vast array of consumer activities from shopping, to watching TV, consuming news and more. The rise of the tablet consumer has left almost no industry untouched. The launch of comScore TabLens provides an in-depth, monthly view into US tablet ownership and usage.

Strategy Analytics: Consumers Prefer Known, Trusted, Innovative Operating Systems

PR: Consumers prefer Android and Apple iOS, currently the top two operating systems in the mobile industry. Both are well established, staying current with the consumer's needs and wants with respect to features, services, and applications offered, and providing quality and popular applications- an aspect consumers look for when purchasing a new device. In the recent Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab report, "Ecosystem Determines Consumer Attachment to Mobile Operating Systems," consumers evaluated the four leading smartphone operating systems: Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone.

The size of the associated content and app ecosystem, and the perceived quality of the content within it, are key factors in determining how consumers perceive different mobile operating systems and how strongly attached they are to their OS of choice

Consumers that prefer an easy to use and intuitive operating system like a closed platform, similar to Apple iOS, finding the need to customize their devices relatively low. However, consumers who like the ability to customize their device, don't mind a bit of complexity, and prefer having the choice of numerous applications, find an open market operating system, such as Android, more appealing. BlackBerry OS was seen as secure and reliable from a business perspective, but viewed as less consumer friendly, and as having outdated hardware. Despite having a well-known brand in the computer industry, consumers were uncertain of Windows Phone as a mobile operating system.

"The size of the associated content and app ecosystem, and the perceived quality of the content within it are key factors in determining how consumers perceive different mobile operating systems and how strongly attached they are to their OS of choice," comments Taryn Tulay, Analyst in the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Lab (WDL), and the report's author. "Consumers find value in features and applications that are convenient, useful and used on a daily basis."

"Most consumers are hesitant to switch operating systems with the fear of having to learn a new, unfamiliar operating system as well as the potential for loss of any data or content currently saved or downloaded to their device," says Paul Brown, a Director in Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice (UEP). "As such, it is imperative for operating systems to offer an easy transition from one to another to obtain new users."

Publisher's note: Based on our site logs, iOS and Android are the only mobile platforms responsible for at least 1% of our traffic. BlackBerry comes in third at 0.14%, Windows Phone at 0.06%, Symbian at 0.03%, and Nokia at 0.02%. (Samsung's OS doesn't even round up to 0.01%.) Calling BlackBerry and Windows Phone "leading" mobile operating systems is a bit misleading - iOS and Android have such a huge lead over the rest that it's only kindness (or a desire to make it seem like a four-way race) that puts them in the "leading" category dk

Why iPad Magazines Are a Flop

The Mac Observer's David Winograd focuses on an excellent point - the failure of magazines to gain real traction on the iPad.

The problem, as he sees it, is that magazine fans like him (and your editor) really don't like throwing away magazines and tend to keep favorite ones around for years for reference, but iPad magazines tend to be too doggoned big to hang onto in any substantial number, especially if they include "interactive" content and/or are optimized for the iPad 3's Retina display, with (for example) an issue of Wired weighing in at well over 1 GB, and most issues at least half that, even a 64 GB iPad will be soon enough overwhelmed.

The Cloud? Not a satisfactory solution due to long download times and lack of access where there's no WiFi or data service. One of the appealing aspects of traditional print magazines is their no-hassle portability and instant access.

Editor's note: I still subscribe to several ink-on-paper magazines, and although some offer free iPad version access with the print subscription, I've never bothered downloading even one. I really don't like reading for leisure on an electronic screen, especially a backlit one, much preferring the tactile satisfaction and easy-on-the-eyes quality of hard copy.

If e-mags were available as simple and relatively svelte PDF files without the "because we can" interactivity hoo-ha, they might be able to carve out a viable niche, but I'm not in the slightest surprised that the category is not doing well. cm

The Competition

How Microsoft Surface Stacks Up Against the Competition

How do the specs for the upcoming Microsoft Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows Pro compare with the Apple iPad? PCWorld's Melissa J. Perenson shares what she knows, observing that Surface will change your expectations of what you can do with your tablet; first and foremost that you will no longer be limited to a dedicated mobile OS and its corresponding app ecosystem but be able to buy one app and use it on both the Surface tablet and a Windows 8 laptop or desktop PC.

Perenson notes that the Surface tablets' design is unique, featuring a comfortably angled bezel created with ergonomics in mind; a balanced arrangement of internal components that make the device feel lighter; and a built-in kickstand for conveniently using Surface in a variety of scenarios.

Surface and its rivals compared
Table reduced from PCWorld article.

But it will be in productivity where the Surface will really stand out, because unlike Apple's iOS and Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows 8 provides the ability to view two apps at a time on one screen, as well as having additional apps multitasking in the background - flexibility closer to what users are accustomed to having on a desktop or laptop computer. Plus, Surface RT will include Office Home and Student 2013 RT (with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) productivity applications.

Surface Pro will also come with 64 GB or 128 GB of storage and an Intel Core i5 CPU for real PC power in a tablet computer.

Publisher's note: Just a few important details are missing from this table. Microsoft has not announced processor speed, screen resolution and pixel density, battery life, resolution of its front and rear cameras, or its price, making it difficult to make a meaningful comparison regarding value. dk

HP and Dell to Launch Windows RT Tablets in Late October

DigiTimes' Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report that Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell are both gearing up to launch Windows RT-based tablet PCs after Microsoft releases its new OS on October 26. Chen and Tsai say HP will adopt chip solutions from Texas Instruments (TI), while Dell will use chips from Qualcomm, both predictions according to unnamed sources in the upstream supply chain.

They add that Asustek Computer and Toshiba have already unveiled their Windows RT tablet PC designs, with the former to adopt Nvidia's SOC and the latter one from TI, with both vendors planning to release their Windows RT machines in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Chen and Tsai say Dell's Windows RT tablet PC is outsourced to Compal Electronics for manufacturing, and Acer doesn't intend to release a Windows RT tablet PC in 2012.

Microsoft Dumps 'Metro' Name from Windows 8

The Register's Gavin Clarke reports that Microsoft has dropped "Metro", the name given to the touchscreen-centric interface for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, claiming it was just a code name all along. However, Clark suggests that litigation may be the real reason for dumping the Metro nomenclature, since it seems the word may be owned by a European company or individual that objected to its use, and reports that Microsoft employees have been instructed to immediately stop using Metro on Windows 8 and other Microsoft products

Google Nexus 7 Teardown Reveals More Hits Than Misses

Tech Republic's Bill Detwiler cracks open the Nexus 7, examines its hardware, and explains why Google's tablet has an edge on Amazon's Kindle Fire, and how its a whole lot easier to get inside to repair or replace stuff (like the battery) than Apple's iPad.

Detwiler notes that Asus and Google left out a few features in order to keep the Nexus 7's price low - no rear camera, no HDMI output, no cellular support, and no external memory card slot. However he says he really liked how easy it was to open the Nexus 7, and once inside he found a lot to like - for instance the battery isn't soldered to the motherboard and is easily removed.

Macworld UK: Google Nexus 7 Cheap but Not Terrible

"Does Google's £159 ($199) Android tablet device pose any real threat to the iPad?" asks Macworld UK's Mark Hattersley, noting that the Nexus 7 is "cheap, cheap, cheap" yet "not terrible," which he thinks bodes well for the rumored 7.85" iPad Mini. On the downside, he rates the Nexus 7 as not as good as the iPad - or even the iPhone - and likely not the forthcoming iPad Mini. But if you don't already own one of those, it's a good, small, cheap alternative - "a well-built device, with competent internal components, fast enough to run the Android operating system smoothly, . . . a good responsive multi-touch display," and that doesn't cut that many corners with build quality at half the price of the cheapest iPad. He also cautions that typing on the Nexus 7 is "pretty nasty" and that Android lacks a lot of apps that really matter.


Stump Stand for E-readers, iPads, iPhones, and Tablets

Stump StandPR: GOGO Ind. has announced that their Stump iPad Stand is now available throughout Europe at The Stump Stand was launched at Macworld in January and is available in the United States at,, Fry's Electronics, and West Elm.

The Stump Stand is a 3-in-1 stand that provides multiple viewing positions for your iPad, tablet or e-reader - Ramp, Lean and Upright. The Stump is designed to be an adaptable stand for your tablet - giving you ideal viewing positions for whatever you are doing, still small enough to be portable and weighted for stability to ensure your iPad or other device remains secure whatever the viewing position. Stump StandThe rubber-like material cradles your iPad and grips the surface it stands on to prevent slips.

Features in a nutshell:

  • Small, yet tough and sturdy
  • Holds your tablet in three different positions
  • Works with most tablets and Ereaders
  • Weighted for stability
  • Made of rubber-like material
  • Available in various colors

Stump StandNot only is the Stump compatible with iPads, but also other tablets up to 0.5" in thickness. It is also ideal for iPhones and various other smartphones, and acts as an extra set of hands with your e-reader, holding your Kindle or Nook for a comfortable reading experience. Essentially, if your device is 0.5" thick or less (at entry point), the Stump will work for you.

The Stump's minimalist design makes it an ideal home base for all of your portable electronic devices. Stump StandWhether your device is actively storing, charging, synching, or simply waiting for its next use, the Stump offers a stable home and a clean presentation. It is highly portable and low profile, so you can keep multiple Stumps throughout your living environment: at your desk, on the kitchen counter, on your nightstand, in your car - practically anywhere.


Speck Products Awarded Patent for Innovative Design of Its CandyShell iPhone Case

Speck CandyShellPR: Speck Products, maker of form-fit cases for the latest personal electronic devices, has been awarded US patent #8,204,561. The patent describes the innovative method by which Speck's CandyShell design for iPhone cases combines soft and hard shell elements into one form-fit design.

The CandyShell was inspired by a gap in the smartphone case market that no soft or hard case alone could offer both protection and style. Refining the design and the process to manufacture the world's first all-in-one hybrid case took over a year. It debuted at CES 2009 and went on to win numerous design and consumer choice awards.

Speck CandyShellSpeck's patented CandyShell design is now available for iPhone, iPod, iPad and many models of Android smartphones. There are also several thoughtful variations like CandyShell Flip, which flips back for docking, CandyShell Card with an integrated slot for holding credit cards, and CandyShell Grip, with grippy pads for gaming comfort.

"Getting this intellectual property recognition is especially rewarding as an affirmation of the type of work we do here at Speck," says Speck CEO Irene Baran. "It's our goal to build unique and useful cases that no one else has thought of, and to give protective, functional designs a smart and stylish spin. We're gadget fanatics too, and we want the same reliability and style for our iPhones that our customers want."

Speck CandyShell cases are available at Apple Stores worldwide, as well as at AT&T stores and online.

Universal USB Hub and Card Reader for Apple iPad/Galaxy Tabs

Universal USB Hub and Card ReaderPR: This is your tablet's Swiss Army Knife. It can connect to 3 interfaces: iPad/Galaxy Tab/PC.

This accessory has 3 functions:

  • With iPad
    • Used as camera kit when connecting to Apple 2 / iPad 3
    • Supports photos in the memory card (SD/MS/M2/TF) uploaded to iPad 2 iPad 3
    • Syncs data with PC when the USB Port connects a PC
    • Extends 2 USB Ports for USB Device, e.g. Keyboard, Camera.
  • With Samsung Galaxy Tab
    • Used as camera kit when connecting to Samsung Galaxy Tabs
    • Reads SD/MS/M2/TF Memory cards as USB Storage
    • Syncs data with PC when the Micro USB Port connects to PC
    • Extends 2 USB Ports to Support Hi-Speed USB Device
  • With PC
    • Reads SD/MS/M2/TF memory cards as USB Storage
    • Extends 2 USB Ports to Support Hi-Speed USB Device


  • 3 functions in one.
  • Supports more than 90% Tablets in the world

Universal USB Hub and Card ReaderThis accessory is compatible with:

  • Apple iPad 2
  • Apple iPad 3 (The new iPad)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab P7300
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab P6800
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab P6200


  • Don't connect the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab to this accessory at the same time
  • This device does not support charging either iPads/Samsung Galaxy Tabs. The charging port is a dummy
  • Don't connect any power adapter to this accessory, this version does not support connecting to an external adapter.


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