Tablets Fall, but Emerging Regions Rise

IDC’s tablet-plus-hybrid forecast for 2014 has been reduced to 233.1 million units. The new figure represents a 6.5% YoY growth rate: significantly below the previous prediction of 12.1% growth.

“[I]t would be easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down”, said IDC’s Jean Philippe Bouchard. “But, when we start digging into the regional dynamics, we realise that there is still a good appetite for this product category. While mature markets like North America and Western Europe will combine for flat unit growth in 2014, the remaining regional markets will generate 12% unit growth over the same period”.

Growth will be fuelled by price pressure on sub-8″ tablets, as well as ‘evolving’ tablet use in emerging markets. ASPs will stabilise at $373 in mature regions, due to a shift to larger sizes and 3G- and 4G-enabled models. In the rest of the world, ASPs will fall 10%, to $302.

Asian users are known for preferring a single device (phablets have been especially popular in the region). IDC’s data supports this, showing that shipments of tablets with voice calling over the internet grew 60% YoY in the region in Q2, to 25% of all tablets.

Most of the tablet market’s revenue will stem from medium- and large-sized products in Western Europe and North America, in the coming years. However, driven by small models, the rest of the world will represent the majority of unit shipments.