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Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Slower Year for Tablet Sales

This year is proving to be rather flat for tablet computers. A new International Data Corp. (IDC) report predicts growth in shipments of new tablets will fall to 7% in 2014, compared to 52.5% growth just a year ago.

The report said worldwide tablet shipments for 2014 will be 235.7 million units, with Android devices accounting for 67.7% of the total. The iPad comes in at 27.5% and 4.6% of the shipments will be Windows tablets.

“In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every two or three years,” said Ryan Rieth, program director of the mobile-device trackers at IDC. “What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than three years and, in some instances, more than four years.”

The pace at which consumers replace their tablets is just one part of the slowdown. The iPad, which has been the industry standard, has seen its sales slip 14% because of competition from dozens of inexpensive Android models. In addition, Apple has failed to make the kinds of upgrades to the device that get people back into a buying mode, according to a report from C/Net.

IDC also reported that PC shipments continue to fall, but at a far slower rate than expected. Total shipments in 2014 will likely be around 306 million units.

“In the best case for PCs, we’d see a significant wave of replacement as users who spent on phones and tablets in recent years decide they really need to update their PC,” said Loren Loverde, vice president of Worldwide PC Trackers. “As younger generations become more mobile and web-oriented, and emerging regions in particular prioritize converged devices (or economy in number of devices to purchase), the PC market will continue to face tough competition and be more focused on replacements, with limited potential for growth.”

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