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IDC: Tablets to ship slower than expected

Staff writer |
Faced with growing competition from larger smartphones and new categories such as wearable devices, International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker modestly lowered its tablet forecast for 2013 and beyond.




The company now expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 227.4 million units in 2013, down from a previous forecast of 229.3 million but still 57.7% above 2012 shipments. Despite the slight reduction for this year, the market will continue to grow at a rapid pace and by 2017 IDC expects worldwide shipments to be nearly 407 million units.

IDC also adjusted its regional outlook, with maturing markets such as the U.S. now expected to cede share more rapidly to emerging markets such as Asia/Pacific.

While mature markets such as North America and Western Europe have driven much of the tablet market's growth to date, IDC expects shipment growth to begin to slow in these markets. Market saturation, increased adoption of smartphones with 5-inch and greater screens, and the eventual growth of the wearable category will impact tablet growth in all regions, but are likely to impact mature regions first.

As a result, IDC now expects the mature market (comprised of North America, Western Europe, and Japan) to shrink from 60.8% of the worldwide market in 2012 to 49% by 2017. As a result, emerging markets (comprised broadly of Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) will grow from 39.2% in 2012 to 51% in 2017.

A secondary trend in the tablet market is the rise of tablets in the commercial segment. Education projects and adoption in vertical markets such as retail are contributing factors as this segment is set to slowly double from the 10% share it held in 2012 to 20% by 2017.


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