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Acer, Asustek see rising tablet shipments in Q3: IDC

TAIPEI -- Shipments of tablet PCs by Taiwanese computer makers Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc. increased in the third quarter thanks to higher demand for low-cost Android models, according to the tech-tracking firm International Data Corp. (IDC).

Asustek, which makes the Nexus 7 for Google Inc., shipped 3.5 million tablets in the July-September period, up 53.9 percent year-on-year, IDC said in a report published Thursday.

That put Asustek in third place globally with a market share of 7.4 percent, the report said.

Acer remained the fifth-largest tablet vendor globally with a 2.5 percent market share, shipping 1.2 million units in the third quarter, an increase of 346.3 percent from 300,000 units in the same period last year.

Apple Inc. remained the top global vendor with shipments of 14.1 million units but its market share slid to a record low of 29.6 percent, caused in part by its decision in late 2012 to postpone its product launches from early 2013 to the fourth quarter, IDC said.

Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea was in second place with shipments of 9.7 million units and a 20.4 percent share of the worldwide market.

Chinese PC powerhouse Lenovo Group Ltd. ranked fourth, recording shipments of 2.3 million units and a 4.8 percent share.

IDC said global tablet shipments grew to 47.6 million units in the third quarter, representing a 7 percent quarterly growth and a 36.7 percent annual increase.

Private-label "white-box" tablets continued to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market, said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC.

"These low-cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good," Mainelli said.

"However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem," he added.

IDC forecast that Apple, with higher end products, will enjoy robust shipment growth in the fourth quarter, as the new iPad Air will start shipping Nov. 1 and the roll out of the refreshed iPad mini with retina display is scheduled for late November.

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