IDC expects tablet sales to slow this year

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Analyst forecasting a slowdown of 32.2 per year-on-year as consumers in mature markets are satisfied with their high end tablets, with few feeling the need to upgrade 

Tablet sales are expected to slow this year from 51.6 per cent in 2013 to 19.4 per cent in 2014, with sales of 250.5 million units.

This is according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, with the analyst firm reducing its forecast for this year by 3.6 per cent from its previous projection of 260.9 million.

IDC said this reduction was due to slowing consumer purchases as hardware iterations slow and the installed base – particularly in the mature markets – continues to grow.

According to the analyst, commercial shipments will however grow as a percentage of the overall mix. It said much of the tablet growth in commercial to date has been in verticals such as education, but IDC expects tablets to continue to infiltrate small, medium and large businesses. This commercial growth is likely to benefit Microsoft’s Windows over time.

IDC program vice president for devices and displays Tom Mainelli said: “In mature markets, where many buyers have purchased higher-end products from market leaders, consumers are deciding that their current tablets are good enough for the way they use them. Few are feeling compelled to upgrade the same way they did in years past, and that’s having an impact on growth rates.”

Worldwide Tablet Tracker research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said: “The choice of operating system will be a key differentiating factor when it comes to success in the commercial segment. Though Android and iOS will remain dominant, we expect Windows-based devices to capture more than a quarter of the market as its benefits become apparent thanks to growing adoption of 2-in1s.”

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