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Worldwide tablet shipments expected to decline 8% in 2015

Staff writer |
According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments, inclusive of 2-in-1 devices, are expected to decline 8% in 2015.

This is representing a notable slowdown from IDC's previous forecast of -3.8%. Shipments are now expected to reach 212 million with the vast majority being pure slate tablets.

The overall trajectory of the tablet market has not changed significantly over the past year and a half, but the 2-in-1 segment, also referred to as detachables, is starting to gain traction.

While the 2-in-1 form factor is not new, OEMs are getting more serious about this market and as a result IDC expects the 2-in-1 segment to grow 86.5% year over year in 2015 with 14.7 million units shipped.

Although this volume is far below that of the more affordable slate tablet segment, IDC believes these devices appeal to an audience seeking an alternative to pure tablets with smaller screens.

The commercial market has been very reluctant to migrate toward tablets, and IDC believes this is largely due to an unclear value proposition. The 2-in-1 segment should find opportunities within the commercial market, but IT buyers have been slow to move toward mobile devices beyond smartphones and do not yet see tablets or 2-in-1's as a true PC replacement.

IDC expects the average selling price (ASP) of slate tablets to drop below $300 given the number of low-cost Android models still widely available. The ASP is being driven down by the abundance of smaller devices (7-8" screen size) that are largely whitebox (or unknown OEMs) and created to meet growing demand from markets outside China and India, such as the Middle East & Africa.

Despite this trend, IDC expects the share of larger screen (>10") tablets and 2-in-1's will grow from 18.6% in 2014 to 39.5% in 2019, fueled by the impact of phablets and a growing commercial appetite for productivity solutions.

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