Mobile device sales fall, tablets weakest

Our love for mobile devices could be cooling. IDC Research company says regional sales figures for mobile devices have fallen for two consecutive quarters.

In the second quarter of 2013 mobile phone sales growth was down five percent across Australia and New Zealand. Notebook sales were down five percent and tablets registered a huge 20 percent drop.

It’s not all bad, New Zealand’s PC sector climbed 12 percent.

Big mobile device plans threatened

The news comes as software giants Google and Microsoft plan to reinvent themselves as device companies. Microsoft has already struggled to gain acceptance for its Surface RT tablets.

Yesterday Microsoft launched new Surface models in New York. Senior IDC analyst Amy Cheah said the market will be increasingly challenging for them.

“While it is not surprising that the notebook market recorded another quarter of market contraction, the consecutive tightening of tablet and mobile phones market is a first for ANZ,” Cheah says.

“This does not necessarily mean these markets have hit saturation point, but it may be an early sign of device fatigue and commoditisation as these newer markets mature.”

Apple missing in action

IDC numbers says makers shipped a total of 4.8 million units, including desktops and mobile devices, in the second quarter of 2013.

It may turn out that it isn’t a case of customers not being interested in mobile devices, merely that they are not interested in the current crop of me too devices and the oddball combinations of smartphones, tablets and laptops that hit the market in recent months.

Remember there have been no new Apple iPad devices in a year to freshen the market. And before anyone gets too gloomy about the state of device sales, there’s news that Apple sold a higher than expected nine million iPhone 5S and 5C models in the three days after the launch.