Worldwide tablet shipments decline in Q4, 2014: IDC

Worldwide Tablet ShipmentsTablets clearly haven’t seen the kind of adoption that the industry was expecting when the original iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The reality has now begun to emerge as the worldwide tablet shipments dropped for the first time in Q4, 2014.

According to a research report by IDC, the overall shipments of the tablets and two-in-one devices were just 76.1 million units in Q4, down 3.2 percent year-over-year. While the Q4 shipment declined, the yearly shipments were still able to show a modest 4.4 percent growth with 229.6 million shipments.

“The tablet market is still very top heavy in the sense that it relies mostly on Apple and Samsung to carry the market forward each year. Although Apple expanded its iPad lineup by keeping around older models and offering a lower entry price point of $249, it still wasn’t enough to spur iPad sales given the excitement around the launch of the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Samsung’s struggles continued as low-cost vendors are quickly proving that mid- to high-priced Android tablets simply aren’t cut out for today’s tablet market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

In terms of the manufacturers, Apple continue to reign with 28.1 percent share, followed by Samsung with 14.5 percent share, Lenovo with 4.8 percent share and Asus with 4 percent share.

IDC is still hopeful about the future of the tablet market, but the situation will be become clear in the next few quarters.

“Despite an apparent slow-down of the market, we maintain our forecast about tablet growth in 2015,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets.Worldwide Tablet Shipments

Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

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2 thoughts on “Worldwide tablet shipments decline in Q4, 2014: IDC

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    (February 3, 2015 - 8:16 pm)

    Now that the novelty factor of owning a tablet is going away, there can only be so much demand for a product this niche. A computer that’s too underpowered to be a full fledged computer and a smartphone that’s too bulky to be carried around everywhere – and that too, if it comes with a voice calling option in the first place.

    A computer that’s not so much a productivity tool as an overpriced, under-powered toy; and a toy that’s not quite different enough from the humble smartphone with an ever increasing screen-size.

    People who can’t afford multiple devices are choosing only a smartphone and old fashioned ones like us are sticking to the good old combo of a PC+smartphone than a mish-mash combo of a na-ghar-ke-na-ghat-ke device.

    The decline has been happening for a while now. Yeh to hona hi tha LOLz.


      (February 10, 2015 - 4:11 am)

      I disagree with your tablet conclusions, though not with all of your underlying points.. At the moment, the problem for tablets is that their compelling use case, ie web browsing and certain apps that benefit from a larger screen, isn’t as important as those for smartphones or PC/laptops. You always need a smartphone to make calls on the go and as a portable, “good enough” internet device, while PCs are usually the only devices that run work software and allow viewing multiple windows at once. Clearly, the former use case is much more popular than the latter, which is why there were four times as many smartphones sold last year as PCs, though they still outsold tablets by 50%.

      However, basically the only advantage for laptops/PCs over tablets at the moment is software, and that’s changing quickly with work software and multi-window mobile OS implementations increasingly coming to mobile devices, with even Windows being sold on cheap tablets these days. Tablets are only going to continue eating into PC sales on the low end and smartphone sales on the high end. Is a giant device like the Nexus 6 really a large smartphone or a small tablet? A couple years ago, it would have been considered the latter.

      I agree that mobile devices are largely “toys” at this point, but most people don’t want anything more than a toy, ie they don’t need to use their mobile devices as “productivity tools.” Smartphones sell like crazy even though they’re mostly useless for “productivity.” You’re right that most people who care about price currently forgo the tablet, but as productivity software increasingly moves to tablets, there will be a large segment that buys a tablet instead of a PC, then docks their tablet to a monitor/keyboard/mouse at work/home when they need to get work done. Of course, you’ll be able to dock smartphones too, with the choice of mobile device depending on how large a screen you want to have on the go.

      The “decline” that’s been happening for a while is the PC/laptop and that’s certainly not stopping. Tablets will pick up again and mobile devices will kill off the PC for all but certain niche uses, like hard-core gaming PCs or programmer workstations. I completely agree with you about smartwatches though, they’re dead on arrival.

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