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IDC: Bottom Falls Out of Tablet Market


Last year’s 52.5% growth in sales of tablets plummeted to 7.2% this year and will remain around that level for the foreseeable future, according to a report released today by International Data Corp.’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.

Apple iPad products will take the biggest hit, with 2014 shipments of iOS-based tablets declining by 12.7% to 65 million units. Top-selling Android devices will finish the year with sales of 160 million units on 16% growth.

Much to the chagrin of tablet makers like Apple, Google, and Samsung that had envisioned owners replacing the devices every two to three years, people are holding onto them for three to four years. “We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products—especially within iOS—and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks,” commented Device Trackers Program Director Ryan Reith.

Sales have been disappointing for 2-in-1, or detachable, tablets like Microsoft’s Surface due to consumer hesitancy surrounding the Windows 8 platform, says IDC. Only 8.7 million of the devices are expected to ship in 2014, just 4% of the tablet market.

“We see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well,” says Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC research director for tablets. “But we also see manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting.”


SOURCE: IDC Trackers

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