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First year of decline for Apple iPad

Staff writer |
IDC projects that the global tablet market would experience a massive deceleration this year, with the growth declining to 7.2%, and also mark the first year of decline for the iPad shipments.

The analyst's numbers suggest that total iPad sales in 2014 will be down by an eighth (12.7%) measured year on year, although that represents almost 65 million unit sales. Apple's year on year drop is at odds with the growth of the tablet market by 7.2%.

The report cites the device lifecycles as the main concern as tablets lifecycles have continued to lengthen, matching those of PCs rather than smartphones.

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers programme director Ryan Reith said: "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."

Despite several advancements made in 2-in-1, or detachable, product category, their shipments are expected to reach 8.7 million units this year, constituting to just 4% of the overall tablet as well as 2-in-1 market.

IDC Tablets research director Jean Philippe Bouchard 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."

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