IDC taps the brakes on worldwide tablet shipment growth

Most people that want a tablet may already have one, at least for a few years, as research firm IDC Corp. is tapping the brakes on its forecast for worldwide tablet shipments.

After recording the first year-over-year decline for worldwide tablet shipments in the first quarter of 2014, IDC is scaling back its five-year category forecast. It’s now projecting worldwide shipments to reach a still healthy 234.5 million units in 2015, which would be modest growth of 2.1 per cent over 2014. Beyond 2015, IDC is predicting low but still positive growth in the years ahead with growing demand in the commercial space, and as Microsoft carves out a foothold.

“Despite the growing popularity of phablets, there still remains a portion of the market that wants to use a larger device so they can tailor their experience to the appropriate screen size,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC’s worldwide quarterly tablet tracker, in a statement. “Meanwhile, an increasing number of vendors behind small tablets are reducing prices and adopting features like voice calling to entice consumers to purchase their products over competing phablets, making the dynamics of phablets vs voice-capable tablets an interesting one to watch.”

When forecast by platform, IDC sees Android remaining the dominant player with nearly two-thirds of the market through to 2015, shrinking slightly. Apple’s iOS is projected to decline a little further, from 27.6 per cent share in 2014 to 23 per cent in 2019. The growth will be coming from Windows as it slowly gains traction, projected to grow from 5.1 per cent in 2014 to 14.1 per cent in 2019.

“Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets with IDC, in a statement. “There is an appetite for a platform that can provide a productivity experience that remains consistent across multiple form factors and device types, and we believe Microsoft is well positioned to capture some of that demand.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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