Crowded Market Puts The Brakes On Tablet Sales Growth
Gartner estimates global tablet sales will hit 229 million units in 2014, an 11 per cent increase from 2013, representing a steep decline from last year’s growth of 55 per cent.
In all, Gartner expects tablets to make up 9.5 per cent of the total worldwide sales of devices in 2014.
Through to 2018, Gartner projects over 90 million fewer new tablet purchasers and 155 million fewer tablet replacements.
“Some tablet users are not replacing a tablet with a tablet, they are favouring hybrid or two-in-one devices, increasing its share of the ultramobile premium market to 22 per cent in 2014 and 32 per cent by 2018,” commented Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal.
Meanwhile, the worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) for 2014 is estimated to reach 2.4 billion units, a 3.2 per cent increase year-on-year.
Strong sales of lower-end smartphones will ensure the mobile phone segment continues to grow in 2014.
Including mid-range Android devices, sales of basic smartphones are projected to grow 52 per cent in 2014, while utility smartphones (including low-end Chinese white box devices) will double.
“The market is clearly favouring those vendors offering value in lower-priced smartphones,” commented Gartner research director Roberta Cozza.
“This trend has become more apparent, especially in the second quarter of 2014 when most of the top Chinese smartphone vendors grew volume and market share.
“As smartphones reach lower prices, Gartner expects nine out of 10 phones to be smartphones by 2018.”
This year, smartphones are set to reach 71 per cent of the mobile phone market, up 17 percentage points from 2013.
In the operating system market, the emerging markets represent an attractive sector for Android, which is set to grow 47 per cent in 2014.
In 2015, Gartner estimates shipments of Android devices will reach over one billion units in emerging markets, driven by sales of lower-cost products.
Targeting the premium market, Apple’s new devices will continue to help drive iOS volumes, and will benefit from a controlled and integrated ecosystem, a focus on the user experience, and a leading enterprise tablet position, Gartner stated.