According to a research report by market analyst firm Canalys, global tablet shipments tripled year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012 with Asian Pacific countries being the second largest region by shipment volume behind the U.S.
By contrast, Europe, Middle East and African (EMEA) regions saw the slowest growth year-on-year with only a 180 percent increase from this time last year.
According to the report, global shipment of tablets accounted for 19 percent of all client PC shipments, up from 7 percent one year ago. North America took the biggest shipment volume with 36 percent of PC shipped in the region. Asia Pacific received 5 million tablets in the first quarter of 2012, while the EMEA only took 4.7 million in the same period of time.
Canalys Analyst Tim Coulling attributes the lag in Europe to a struggling economy, decreasing job creation and massive government debt. While Europe is suffering economic woes, Asia Pacific is experiencing something of the opposite relating to its financial condition. “Contrast this to booming economies in the Asia Pacific region and the rapid rise in middle income households, particularly in China,” said Coulling. “These present vendors with the greatest opportunities for growth.”
Coulling also pointed to lack of content for why Europeans are slower to adopt tablet use. He said that content availability is a key driver for tablets. In the U.S., tablet owners can stream media content from services like Netflix, Hulu, XFinity, Apple, Google and Amazon. The complications surrounding negotiating digital rights and multiple language adoptions make it difficult for companies to deliver similar services consistently in Europe.
Apple rose to the top of the tablet market again with record sales of the iPad in the fourth quarter of 2011 and an estimated 58 percent share of the global market. Canalys research analyst Michael Kauh pointed out that Apple’s performance in Asia Pacific is particularly interesting because of the 252 percent growth in iPad shipment even though the new iPad shipped earlier in North America and Europe.
“Amazon’s rise in the pad space is testament to the need for a compelling content proposition. You cannot succeed by focusing on device specifications alone,” Kauh said.