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The global tablet market is slowing down, says IDC

It’s been clear for a while that iPads and other tablets follow a much longer upgrade cycle than smartphones. A new report from IDC backs up this anecdotal trend with sales estimates. According to the report, the worldwide tablet market will only grow 7.2 percent this year, a huge drop from the 52.5 percent growth it saw in 2013.

Operating System 2014 Shipment Volumes 2014 Market Share 2014 YoY Growth
Android 159.5 million 67.7% 16.0%
iOS 64.9 million 27.5% -12.7%
Windows 10.9 million 4.6% 67.3%
Other 0.5 million 0.2% -70.6%

The weak global tablet market is even affecting Apple, whose iPad accounts for nearly 28 percent of the market. According to the report, Apple’s year-over-year iPad shipments will decline, which means it made and sold more iPads in 2013 than it will in 2014 — even though the company will ship nearly 65 million iPads in 2014. That lines up with Apple’s own iPad sales figures, which have indicated for the past few quarters that the company has been selling fewer iPads this year than in 2013.

Android, mirroring its success on smartphones, is still the dominant tablet operating system, accounting for 68 percent of the market — 16 percent higher than last year. It can be expected to extend that lead: As mature markets like the United States hold on to their tablets for longer, developing markets are becoming the main driver of sales growth, and a large proportion of those sales will probably go to low-cost Android tablets.

Another key takeaway: Hybrid devices, or “2-in-1 detachables,” are not a major category. Those type of devices — many of which run Windows 8 — only comprise about four percent of the total tablet and hybrid markets combined. Windows as a touch platform is having trouble gaining traction, accounting for only 4.6 percent of the tablet market, although that’s a 67 percent jump from last year.

One Response to “The global tablet market is slowing down, says IDC”

  1. All good except their reasoning for lack of growth.
    Compare how phones and tablets evolved in recent years in screen resolution, design (bezel size mostly) and price.
    Tablets have stagnated (outside china ) for the most part while phones are getting a lot better. Consumer don’t upgrade because they have no reason to.. Samsung for example pushed screen res and design but got stuck on pricing.Apple got stuck on design and screen res (except the mini last year) and nobody expects Apple to lower prices, although the ipad mini first gen at 300$ is better value than most(got to shame the Android guys into getting their act together).
    Google Nexus , Asus , LG are getting worse, HP is just messing around , Dell has no vision,Sony has insane pricing (500$ for 8 inch 1920×1200) and so on.
    At the same time, phones got bigger, cheaper, higher res and bezels are shrinking.
    They got to give consumers a reason to buy and nobody is even trying (outside China).
    Windows tabs have evolved because Intel and Microsoft are spending a lot of money on that but they can’t push prices even lower anymore and going forward those are stuck too- plus at some point they’ll stop the spending and pricing will have to go up.