Worldwide Tablet Growth Hits the Brakes, Slowing to the Low Single Digits in the Years Ahead

Following the first year-over-year decline in worldwide tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), the International Data Corporation (IDC) has scaled back its five year forecast for the product category.

Worldwide Tablet plus 2-in-1 Forecast, 4Q 2014

Worldwide Tablet plus 2-in-1 Forecast, 4Q 2014 (Source: IDC)

Worldwide shipments are expected to reach 234.5 million units in 2015, a modest year-over-year increase of 2.1% from 2014. Although the outlook has been tempered, IDC still expects low but positive growth for the market in the years to come as demand in the commercial sector increases, and as Microsoft slowly gains 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”

“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, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “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.”

In terms of platforms, Android will remain the leader, with close to two-thirds of the market over the course of the forecast. Once-upon-a-time-leader iOS is likely the weakest link as IDC expects its volume share of the market to decline in 2015, reaching levels below that of the past three years. Windows, despite modest adoption to date, is expected to gain significant share over the course of the forecast, growing from 5.1% in 2014 to 14.1% 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, Tablets. “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.”

Worldwide Tablet plus 2-in-1 Shipments, Market Share, Year-Over-Year Growth by Operating System,
2014 – 2018 (Shipments in millions)

Operating System

2014
Shipment
Volumes

2014
Market
Share

2015*
Shipment
Volumes

2015*
Market
Share

2019*
Shipment
Volumes

2019*
Market
Share

Android 154.7 67.3% 158.1 67.4% 169.5 62.9%
iOS 63.4 27.6% 60.1 25.6% 61.9 23.0%
Windows 11.6 5.1% 16.3 7.0% 38.0 14.1%
Total 229.7 100.0% 234.5 100.0% 269.4 100.0%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, March 12, 2015
* Forecast figures.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide tablet shipments and year-over-year growth over the 2013-2019 forecast period is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

Taxonomy Note: Total tablet market includes slate tablets plus 2-in-1 tablets. References to “tablets” in this release include both slate tablets and 2-in-1 devices.

About IDC Trackers
IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC’s Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 orknagamine@idc.com.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

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