Try as they might, it seems the makers of tablets cannot get their consumers to think of their tablets as devices that need to be replaced as often as smartphones.
According to figures released yesterday (March 12), IDC has slashed its forecast for tablet growth in the coming year and is predicting device shipments will only increase by 2.1 percent to 234.5 million units. That represents a more than 50 percent reduction of the firm’s prior estimate of 5.2 percent.
The IDC forecast includes “2-in-1” devices – laptop/tablet hybrids – which it says account for much of the proposed growth in 2015.
“There is a slowdown,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC’s research director for tablets. The fourth quarter of last year “was much lower than we expected, so we reduced everything.”
Bouchard did note that the forthcoming release of the Windows 10 operating system may offer a shot of adrenaline to the largely flattening table market, as could the release of a potentially larger iPad from Apple.
And finding a way to re-ignite tablet sales may be particularly important for Apple, as they are the world’s biggest tablet maker and they don’t make a hybrid laptop/tablet. iPad sales were down for their fourth consecutive quarter in figures posted in January, as consumers seem to be more interested in phablet phones than pure tablets.