Worldwide Tablet Growth Expected to Slow to 7.2% in 2014 as iPad Sees First Yearly Decline

The worldwide tablet tablet market is expected to see a significant decline for 2014, according to reports from the International Data Corporation. The tablet market's year-over-year growth is expected to be 7.2% this year, down from 52.5% in 2013. According to the analysts, one of the central reasons for the market slowdown is the expectation that 2014 will be the first year Apple will see a decline in iPad shipments.

ipad_mini_3_hand
IDC expects Apple to ship 64.9 million iPads this calendar year, a decline of 12.7 percent from 2013. Capturing 67.7 percent market share and shipping 159.5 million devices, Google's Android operating system will continue to be the most popular OS for tablets.

Total tablet market shipments is projected to hit 235.7 million units shipped, yielding relatively small growth of 7.2 percent over 2013. As a comparison, shipments in the worldwide tablet market saw 52.5 percent growth from 2012 to 2013. IDC equates this slowdown in growth to the longer lifespan of tablets in the modern market.

Screenshot (11)
"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "In 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 life-cycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
IDC also points towards consumer hesitancy over Windows 8 tablets for such low market shares in the total tablet and 2-in-1, or detachable, product market, a space Microsoft largely owns at the moment. Microsoft will only see about 11 million tablet shipments this year, equating to less than 5% of the overall tablet market.
"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," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets. "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, IDC sees a few factors that could impact the worldwide tablet market, including the overall industry reaction to Windows 10, what Google does in the tablet space with Android and Chrome OS, and the yearly potential of even more products from Apple. But, according to IDC, "Despite all of these unknowns, it seems clear that consumers can be expected to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones."

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
24 months ago
1. There only so many times you can keep making a tablet thin before people catch on to what you're doing. Apple ran out of ideas. It's the same make it faster, thinner and add a non essential feature to the tablet experience.

2. Phablets including the iPhone 6 plus are more popular than tablets.

3. Apple keeps the iPad updated. No reason to drop another $500.

4. The asking price for the 16GB 9.7" iPad is still $500.

5. The tablet is not a replacement for a computer.

6. People just don't need a tablet.

7. The market is over saturated. People that want a iPad already have an iPad.
Rating: 8 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
When a 2011 iPad 2 still works great in 2014, this is to be expected.
Rating: 5 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
I know they are talking about a decline but 65 million? That is still a good peace of selling!!
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
Tablets are simply not as useful for the huge majority of people as a laptop is.

And that is due to the lack of good input. You can work around, but it's no substitute for a touchpad and a keyboard, period.

The longer you use a tablet, the more you realize that it's a solution in search of a problem.

At first I thought that I'd lounge around the house with a tablet and not need a laptop, but even then, if you're instant messaging, or browsing, whatever.

You're always going to need to do input, and the moment you input anything more than twice, over the months, you'll realize that a laptop is simply the superior choice. It's not due to familiarity and a resistance to change. Laptops are just completely superior for the vast, vast majority of people.

Prediction: the watch will go the way of the iPad as well. Huge initial interest, relegated to a niche role after 4 years.

We need true innovations in battery life, screen technology/form factors, and sensors to make the next leap, and Apple ain't going to provide it. They'll probably buy the company that makes it and call it their own. Apple's a spit and polish type of company, and there's nothing wrong with that. Taking promising tech and mass producing it is not easy, but let's not kid ourselves--this is what they do.
Rating: 4 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
You can't expect Apple sales to keep going up forever. They have to decline at some point.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

I know they are talking about a decline but 65 million? That is still a good peace of selling!!


And you have the applause of the day...these ANALysts are counting $29 Walmart tablets in the same breath as Ipads - this is an Ipad market and will remain like that for a long time, since only Apple has the resources to continue to invest in tablets - the Ipad Air 2 is a fabulous product.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
I keep buying iPads and my current set up is exactly how I love it.

Mac Pro as my desktop and work horse. I surf, edit videos, photos, work on my website. Also the center of my media hub. All my videos and Music are served through here via Spotify, Plex or iTunes.

iPad Air 2 is my Couch/Bed/Bathroom surfer and for games. Also it's my TV away from the TV as I use it to watch USA, Travel Channel and various programs on it.

iPhone 6 - on the road reading, fitness step tracker and music/podcast player. It's the device I use the most.

But the way I have things set up is perfect for my use. The only iPad I skipped buying is the iPad 4 and now the iPad Mini 3, since it wasn't really an upgrade. I sell all my old iPads or shift them to others in my family.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago
This is only normal. Ongoing hyper growth isn't natural.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

So Continuity and Handoff mean nothing? Many more sharing options? iCloud Drive? Third party keyboards.

What do you want to be in iOS that makes it innovative, if the above stuff isn't?

IMO Apple has been freeing up the locked down iOS, and this is adding value to it. I am sure there is more to come


You've got to be kidding, right ?
freeing up? the opposite is happening.
iCloud Drive? oh puhhleaze! have a look at OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.. nearly everyone else is better & cheaper
Convolution & Handjob ? haven't you seen the many threads about problems, never mind the "deep organizational issues" Apple currently has ?

Feature creep without enhancing the overall experience, while breaking things that worked smoothly before, like bluetooth audio.
I'm so done with the latest iPads and iOS8.
Rating: 2 Votes
Avatar
24 months ago

So Continuity and Handoff mean nothing? Many more sharing options? iCloud Drive? Third party keyboards.

What do you want to be in iOS that makes it innovative, if the above stuff isn't?

IMO Apple has been freeing up the locked down iOS, and this is adding value to it. I am sure there is more to come


if you don't think there is a problem with opening a folder that's a 3x3 grid on a 10 inch screen, only because it's the EXACT same iOS as it is for phones, you're living a sad lie. The worst part is you're not even an Apple shareholder

iOS on the iPad is a blown up iPhone iOS, period. Seems like every reviewer sees this issue except you. I love my iPad, it's my favorite device that I own and I use it more then my iMac which as you can see in my sig is a beast. That doesn't mean the OS is weak and is carried by 3rd parties because Apple stopped giving a damn
Rating: 2 Votes
[ Read All Comments ]