Disappointing Q4 Puts Brakes on IDC’s Tablet Forecast

By Tom Allen
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IDC has cut back its five-year forecast for worldwide tablet shipments, following a YoY decline in Q4’14. The firm expects 234.5 million units to be shipped this year, representing a moderate increase of 2.1%. Although predictions have been cut, IDC still expects positive – if low – growth from the tablet market in the coming years; primarily due to increasing demand in the commercial sector, as Microsoft rises.

Android will remain the market leader in operating system terms, with almost 66% of the market to 2019. iOS is ‘likely the weakest link’; IDC predicts that the OS’s volume share will fall this year, to levels below those seen since 2012. Despite modest adoption so far, Windows is expected to gain significant share over the coming years – growing from 5.1% in 2015 to 14.1% in 2019.

Worldwide Tablet and Convertible Shipments’ Market Share and YoY Growth by Operating System, 2014 – 2019 (Shipments in Millions)
Operating System 2014 Units 2015 Units (F) 2019 Units (F) 2014 Market Share 2015 Market Share (F) 2019 Market Share (F)
Android 154.7 158.1 169.5 67.3% 67.4% 62.9%
iOS 63.4 60.1 61.9 27.6% 25.6% 23%
Windows 11.6 16.3 38 5.1% 7% 14.1%
Total 229.7 234.5 269.4 100% 100% 100%
Source: IDC

Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC’s research director for tablets, said, “Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole…There is an appetite for a platform that can provide a productivity experience that remains consistent across multiple form factors and device types, and we believe Microsoft is well positioned to capture some of that demand”.