IDC Tempers Long-Term Tablet Forecast as Competing Technologies Heat Up

SAN MATEO, Calif.--()--Faced with growing competition from larger smartphones and the prospect of new categories such as wearable devices diverting consumer spending, International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker modestly lowered its tablet forecast for 2013 and beyond. The company now expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 227.4 million units in 2013, down from a previous forecast of 229.3 million but still 57.7% above 2012 shipments. Despite the slight reduction for this year, the market will continue to grow at a rapid pace and by 2017 IDC expects worldwide shipments to be nearly 407 million units. The company also adjusted its regional outlook, with maturing markets such as the U.S. now expected to cede share more rapidly to emerging markets such as Asia/Pacific.

"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, Tablets. "We expect average selling prices to continue to compress as more mainstream vendors utilize low-cost components to better compete with the whitebox tablet vendors that continue to enjoy widespread traction in the market despite typically offering lower-quality products and poorer customer experiences."

While mature markets such as North America and Western Europe have driven much of the tablet market's growth to date, IDC expects shipment growth to begin to slow in these markets. Market saturation, increased adoption of smartphones with 5-inch and greater screens, and the eventual growth of the wearable category will impact tablet growth in all regions, but are likely to impact mature regions first. As a result, IDC now expects the mature market (comprised of North America, Western Europe, and Japan) to shrink from 60.8% of the worldwide market in 2012 to 49% by 2017. As a result, emerging markets (comprised broadly of Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) will grow from 39.2% in 2012 to 51% in 2017.

"Year-on-year growth is beginning to slow as the tablet market approaches early stages of maturity," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "Much of the long-term growth will be driven by countries like China where projected growth rates will be consistently higher than the worldwide average."

A secondary trend in the tablet market is the rise of tablets in the commercial segment. Education projects and adoption in vertical markets such as retail are contributing factors as this segment is set to slowly double from the 10% share it held in 2012 to 20% by 2017.

Worldwide Tablet Market Share by Segment, 2012-2017

       
Year    

Consumer

Segment

   

Commercial

Segment

2012     90%     10%
2013     87%     13%
2017     80%     20%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, August 2013

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing IDC's forecast market shares for mature and emerging markets is available here. The chart is intended for sharing in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 49 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

Contacts

IDC
Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
rreith@idc.com
or
Jitesh Ubrani, 416-673-2214
jubrani@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com

Release Summary

IDC modestly lowered its tablet forecast for 2013 and beyond. The company now expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 227.4 million units in 2013.

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Contacts

IDC
Tom Mainelli, 650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Ryan Reith, 650-350-6242
rreith@idc.com
or
Jitesh Ubrani, 416-673-2214
jubrani@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
press@idc.com