IDC lowers tablet shipment numbers for 2013 as phablets gain popularity
Tablets have significantly grown in the last couple of years, and currently hold a big share of the mobile device market pie. However, with the evolution of the phablet segment with more vendors increasingly launching 5-inch to 6.9-inch category of devices, Phablets and the upcoming new categories including wearable devices from potential players like Samsung, Apple, Sony and others, IDC has now lowered the projected tablet shipment numbers by over 2 million units, from earlier forecasted 229.3 million unit shipments. The shipments are now expected to reach 227.4 million units in 2013.
It is believed that the trending phablet segment as well as the introduction of new devices will affect the tablet market in not only mature but emerging markets as well. “Year-on-year growth is beginning to slow as the tablet market approaches early stages of maturity,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
However, despite a slight reduction in the market share due to the growing phablet and new category of devices, the expected tablet shipments for 2013 will be 57.7 percent up against 2012 shipments, IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report suggests. The tablet worldwide shipments are expected to reach nearly 407 million units by 2017.
A couple of weeks ago, another IDC report had highlighted the decline in the tablet shipments in quarter two of this year, resulted potentially due to the lack a new iPad by Apple. “A lower than anticipated second quarter, hampered by a lack of major product announcements, means the second half of the year now becomes even more critical for a tablet market that has traditionally seen its highest shipment volume occur during the holiday season,” said Tom Mainelli, research director for Tablets, IDC.
In another finding, the report suggests that markets like Asia/Pacific will generate more demand for tablets than the United States and other mature markets. These matured markets are believed to have attained a saturation point and are rather demanding phablets, and thus now witnessing a reduced rate of demand for tablets. Also, it is expected that the eventual growth of the wearable category will further impact tablet growth in mature regions first.
IDC has projected that the share of mature market which includes North America, Western Europe, and Japan will most likely shrink from 60.8 percent of the worldwide market in 2012 to 49 percent by 2017. On the other hand, the emerging markets, which mainly includes Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will account for a long-term growth, from 39.2 percent in 2012 to 51 percent in 2017.