Tablet sales up 78% in 2012

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Updated 22 February 2013
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Tablet sales up 78% in 2012

WASHINGTON: The global market for tablet computers surged 78.4 percent last year, with 128 million of the devices shipped, a survey showed.
Research firm IDC said tablets made up 10.7 percent of the global market last year for “smart connected devices,” which include smartphones, and portable and desktop PCs.
Overall, the market for these devices grew 29 percent to 1.2 billion, according to IDC, with growth in tablets and smartphones — which saw a 46 percent rise — offsetting declines in PC sales.
Although tablet sales sizzled, they have not yet eclipsed sales of traditional PCs yet, the figures showed. Some analysts say that could happen in the next year or two.
IDC data showed a 3.4 percent drop in portable PC sales to 202 million and a 4.1 percent decline in desktop PC sales to 148.4 million.
These were dwarfed by the 722 million smartphones sold last year, a figure which was previously released.
Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs cannot keep up with, said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.
“The average selling price for a tablet declined 15 percent in 2012 to $461, and we expect that trend to continue in 2013.”
IDC said smartphone prices averaged $408 and are generally replaced more often than other devices.
In the overall market for connected devices, Samsung rose to the top position with at least 20 percent of the market in each category, and an overall market share of 20.8 percent, overtaking last year’s leader Apple.
Apple held 18.2 percent of the market for 2012, up from 16.3 percent in 2011. The maker of the iPhone and iPad saw 44 percent growth for the year but was unable to keep pace with South Korea’s Samsung, which more than doubled its sales.
The number three company was China-based Lenovo with a 6.5 percent market share in all devices, followed by US-based Hewlett-Packard (4.8 percent) and Dell (3.2 percent).
IDC said Apple fared better in the fourth quarter than earlier in the year, and was boosted by its release of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini.
“The fourth quarter market share numbers showed a fairly dramatic resurgence for Apple,” said IDC’s Bob O’Donnell.
“After falling well behind Samsung early in 2012, Apple came roaring back in final quarter of the year... The question moving forward will be whether or not Apple can maintain its hit parade against the juggernaut of Samsung.”


OPEC nears oil output deal ahead of key Vienna meeting

Updated 10 min 1 sec ago
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OPEC nears oil output deal ahead of key Vienna meeting

VIENNA: OPEC energy ministers expressed optimism Thursday they were nearing a compromise on oil output policy, with Saudi Arabia acknowledging that a big production hike would be “politically unacceptable” to archfoe Iran.
OPEC and non-OPEC partner countries are due to hold crunch talks in Vienna on Friday and Saturday to decide the fate of an 18-month-old supply-cut pact that has cleared a global oil glut and lifted crude prices to multi-year highs.
Saudi Arabia, backed by non-member Russia, is now racing to convince the alliance to raise production again in order to meet growing demand in the second half of 2018.
Adding an extra one million barrels per day to the market “sounds like a good target to work with,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at a seminar organized by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Regional rival Iran however is fiercely opposed to unwinding the agreed production curbs, as its oil industry is bracing for fresh sanctions following US President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the international nuclear pact.
Several other OPEC members, including Venezuela and Iraq, are also against major changes to the pact as they are unable to immediately boost production.
Signaling that positions might be softening, Saudi’s Falih acknowledged that “not every country can respond to an allocation of higher production” and said it was important to be “sensitive” to those concerns.
Allowing countries like dominant player Saudi Arabia to make up for the shortfalls of other members “may be a technical solution but it may not be politically acceptable to others,” he said at the Vienna seminar.
As the clock ticks down to the upcoming ministerial meetings, a face-saving compromise appeared to be in the works.
“We hope that there will be an agreement,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi told reporters.
“Iraq is trying very hard to narrow the gap between the two blocs.”
UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Al-Mazrouei added: “I am very optimistic.”
Observers say the participating countries could simply agree to stop exceeding their quotas for cutbacks, and stick to the agreed target of trimming production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).
The 24 nations in the pact, known as OPEC+, are currently keeping more than two million bpd off the market.
Most of the shortfall has come from Venezuela, where an economic crisis has savaged the nation’s petroleum production.
Output has also plummeted in Libya, where fighting between rival factions has damaged key oil infrastructure.