Following a massive deceleration in worldwide tablet market, Apple is expected to experience a major fall in its full-year iPad shipments for the year 2014. This will be the first such decline in iPad sales, ever since they were released.
The latest numbers from market research company, International Data Corporation (IDC) reveal that worldwide tablet growth is expected to have significantly declined in 2014, with just 7.2% year-over-year growth compared to 52.5% in 2013. This, the researchers say, will represent the first full year of decline in iPad shipments, which have traditionally powered the market since the day they were released.
Google being the most popular operating system for tablets,held nearly 68% of the market this year, working out to almost 160 million devices shipped. That’s compared to 65 million iPad shipments, or 27.5 percent of the share for the same period.
Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker, stated-
The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets. 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 lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks.
Among different form factors and product groups, significant advancements have been made recently by hardware manufacturers to advance the 2-in-1, or detachable, product category. Devices have become thinner, prices have come down, and more models are available. Despite these advances, shipments of 2-in-1 devices are only expected to reach 8.7 million units in 2014, which is just 4% of the total tablet plus 2-in-1 market. A large reason for the relatively small uptake has been consumer hesitancy around the Windows 8 platform, which the majority of 2-in-1 devices are built upon.
Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets said-
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. 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.
Another factor that is being counted includes the take over of the mature markets by emerging markets which offers high-end specifications at a cheaper and relatively affordable price. Around 50.6% of the market is captured by the new amateur brands which have somehow succeeded to catch the attention of buyers.