Tablet sales growth to plummet this year

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Lack of adoption in emerging economies and slowdown in replacement of existing models in developing markets leading to market slowdown

Tablet sales growth is expected to plummet this year globally, with Western European sales suffering their first ever year-on-year fall, according to analysts CCS Insight.

Global tablet shipments will grow by just 14 per cent this year, down from 71 per cent last year and 79 per cent in 2012. In Western Europe sales will actually fall by six per cent year-on-year.

CCS Insight is blaming delayed adoption in emerging markets and the maturity of the market in the developing world for the figures. Other factors that have been cited for the slowdown is the better build quality of the devices, more durable batteries and regular software updates. Consumers are also believed to be looking at new consumer electronics.

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“With households seeing no necessity to replace their current tablets (or smartphones) there could be an uptick in replacement purchases of ageing PCs and notebooks” continued CCS Insight’s Koytcheva. “In some cases a household gadget budget might now be spent on new products such as the latest crop of wearable devices, including smartwatches and fitness bands. These are ideally suited to the lucrative fourth-quarter gifting market.”

However, the report’s authors are predicting a return to growth in the following years and a big increase from the 390 million tablets it estimates are currently in use worldwide. Sales of replacement devices in developing markets and an increase in sales in developing markets, where currently just one in four tablets are sold, will spur this growth.

“Affordability constraints mean that it will be another couple of years before we start seeing strong uptake of tablets in countries like China and India where widespread ownership of both a smartphone and tablet is currently a step too far” added Koytcheva.

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