D&H Distributing enjoyed an 8 percent revenue increase over the last 12 months, and it has Android to thank for that jump.
The SMB distributor said its fiscal 2013 year ending April 30 was fueled largely by mobile device sales, particularly tablets. D&H said its tablets sales more than tripled year over year, with the majority of the growth coming from Android tablets. The Harrisburg, Pa., distributor does not sell Apple iPads.
"Android tablets have been very strong," said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H. "Samsung, Asus and Acer devices all did very well. And the 7-inch tablets moved a lot of units, too; those models have become very popular."
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D&H cited recent data from research firm ABI Research, which forecast tablet growth shipments to jump 38 percent this year, with 78 percent of U.S. businesses deploying tablets in some capacity as opposed to just 22 percent in 2012.
Meanwhile, D&H said it's started to see stronger sales around Windows 8 Pro-based tablets such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 and HP ElitePad 900. Davis said Windows 8 Pro tablets are being received much better than Windows RT devices.
"Windows RT didn't do well out of the gate," Davis said. "There weren't a lot of devices out there running it, and there was a lot of customer confusion about how it worked and what you could run on it. But touch-based devices with Windows 8 Pro are definitely doing better."
Android has enjoyed strong growth on both smartphones and tablets, according to recent market research from Strategic Analytics and ABI Research, and Google's OS could become even more popular with solution providers given some of the channel restrictions for competing platforms.
Non-Apple-authorized resellers can't sell iPads, and Microsoft partners can't resell the software giant's Surface devices, which currently are sold exclusively through Microsoft's retail outlets and online store.
But some solution providers haven't seen strong demand yet for Android in the commercial market. "We don't see Android happening in the commercial market," said Iris Sepulveda, sales and marketing manager for PR Computer Services in Puerto Rico. "I think most customers right now on the corporate side are choosing between Apple and Windows."
For its fiscal 2014, D&H said it expects continued growth in mobile devices as well as emerging areas such as digital signage and wearable computing devices.
PUBLISHED MAY 10, 2013