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Worldwide Tablet Growth Expected to Slow to 7.2% in 2014 Along With First Year of iPad Decline

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The worldwide tablet market is expected to see a massive deceleration in 2014 with year-over-year growth slowing to 7.2%, down from 52.5% in 2013, according to a new forecast from IDC. At the core of this slowdown is the expectation that 2014 will represent the first full year of decline in Apple iPad shipments. Both the iPad and the overall market slowdown do not come as a surprise as device lifecycles for tablets have continued to lengthen, increasingly resembling those of PCs more than smartphones.

The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets. the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 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.Add to this the larger smartphones, known as phablets. 

Among different form factors and product groups, significant advancements have been made recently by hardware manufacturers to advance the 2-in-1, or detachable, product category. Devices have become thinner, prices have come down, and more models are available. Despite these advances, shipments of 2-in-1 devices are only expected to reach 8.7 million units in 2014, which is just 4% of the total tablet plus 2-in-1 market. A large reason for the relatively small uptake has been consumer hesitancy around the Windows 8 platform, which the majority of 2-in-1 devices are built upon.

"We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well," saidJean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director forTablets. "But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting."

Looking forward, the few unknowns that could impact overall tablet shipments are: the industry reaction to Windows 10; what Google does in this space with Android and Chrome OS; and Apple's rumored product line expansion. Despite all of these unknowns, it seems clear that consumers can be expected to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones.


Worldwide Tablet/2-in-1 Shipments, Market Share, Year-Over-Year Growth, and 5-Year CAGR by Operating System, 2014-2018 (shipment volumes in millions)

 

 

Operating

System

2014* Shipment Volumes

2014* Market Share

2014* YoY Growth

2018* Shipment Volumes

2018* Market Share

2018* YoY Growth

2014-2018 CAGR

Android

159.5

67.7%

16.0%

183.1

64.0%

2.2%

5.9%

iOS

64.9

27.5%

-12.7%

70.1

24.5%

2.2%

-1.1%

Windows

10.9

4.6%

67.3%

32.6

11.4%

17.9%

38.1%

Other

0.5

0.2%

-70.6%

0.1

0.0%

-11.3%

-43.0%

Total

235.7

100.0%

7.2%

285.9

100.0%

3.8%

5.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, November 25, 2014

 

Notes:Total tablet market includes tablets plus 2-in-1 devices.

 

            *Represents forecast data

 

 Worldwide Tablet/2-in-1 Shipments, Market Share, and 5-Year CAGR by Region, 2014-2018 (shipment volume in millions)

 

 

 

Region

2014* Shipment Volumes

2014* Market Share

2014* YoY Growth

2018* Shipment Volumes

2018* Market Share

2018* YoY Growth

2014-2018 CAGR

Emerging Markets

119.3

50.6%

11.5%

149.4

52.2%

4.5%

6.9%

Mature Markets

116.4

49.4%

3.1%

136.6

47.8%

3.0%

3.9%

Total

235.7

100.0%

7.2%

285.9

100.0%

3.8%

5.4%


Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, November 25, 2014

Notes:    Total tablet market includes tablets plus 2-in-1 devices.

               * Represents forecast data

Mature Markets = USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan

Emerging Markets = Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Latin America, Middle East, and Africa (MEA)