A Future Fueled by Phablets – Worldwide Phablet Shipments to Surpass Portable PCs in 2014 and Tablets by 2015, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, worldwide phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014, passing the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship during the same period. Next year, total phablet volumes will top 318 million units, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship in 2015.

While phablets are a relatively new category of device, first picking up volume in 2012, the pressure that the category has placed on the tablet market has already been clearly observed as the growth of smaller, 7 inch tablets has begun to slow. IDC expects more consumers to shift back toward larger-sized tablets with their next purchase. However, that trend hasn't made up for the decreased shipments of smaller sizes, which has resulted in lower overall expectations for the tablet market in 2014 and beyond.

"With Apple expected to join the space in the coming weeks, we anticipate even more attention on phablets as larger screen smartphones become the new norm," said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. IDC expects phablets to grow from 14.0% of the worldwide smartphone market in 2014 to 32.2% in 2018.

As the Smart Connected Device market matures, and emerging markets drive more of the growth, the percentage of the market made up of phablets plus regular smartphones is expected to increase. In 2014 IDC expects smartphones to represent about 70% of the total market. By 2018 that will grow to 75.6%. While consumers in places like the United States and Western Europe are likely to own a combination of PCs, tablets, and smartphones, in many places the smartphone — regardless of size — will be the one connected device of choice. Dropping average selling prices (ASPs) for phablets and smartphones will help drive this trend. In 2013, a phablet cost an average of US$568 versus a regular smartphone at US$320, while IDC forecasts that in 2014, those prices will drop to US$397 and US$291, respectively.

"Clearly, mobile computing is a space where consumers are still trying to figure out what mix of devices and screen sizes will suit them best," said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President with IDC's Devices and Displays. "What works well today could very well shift tomorrow as phones gain larger screens, tablets become more powerful replacements for PCs, and even smart watch screens join the fray."

Worldwide Smart Connected Device Forecast Shipments, Market Share, Growth, and 5-Year CAGR (units in millions)

                                                         
Category      

2014*
Shipment
Volumes

     

2014*
Market
Share

     

2014*
YoY
Growth

     

2018*
Shipment
Volumes

     

2018*
Market
Share

     

2018*
YoY
Growth

     

5-Year
CAGR

Regular Smartphone       1,077.4       60.2%       12.8%       1,246.2       51.2%       3.2%       5.5%
Phablet       174.9       9.8%       209.6%       592.9       24.4%       16.6%       60.0%
Tablet + 2-in-1       233.1       13.0%       6.5%       303.5       12.5%       4.7%       6.8%
Portable PC       170.0       9.5%       -4.7%       170.0       7.0%       0.8%       -1.0%
Desktop PC       133.5       7.5%       -2.3%       121.1       5.0%       -1.6%       -2.4%
Total       1,789.0       100.0%       15.8%       2,433.7       100.0%       5.9%       9.5%
                                         

Source: IDC Worldwide Smart Connected Device Tracker, September 3, 2014.

*forecast data

Table Note: Figures may not be exact due to rounding

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic illustrating worldwide smart connected device shipments over the 2014-2018 forecast period is available here. Instructions on how to embed this graphic into online news articles and social media 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.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or knagamine@idc.com.

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. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help 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. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Contacts

International Data Corporation
Melissa Chau, +65-6829-7713
melissachau@idc.com
or
Tom Mainelli, +1-650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, +1-508-935-4200
press@idc.com

Release Summary

According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, worldwide phablet shipments will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014, surpassing portable PCs in shipment volume.

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Contacts

International Data Corporation
Melissa Chau, +65-6829-7713
melissachau@idc.com
or
Tom Mainelli, +1-650-350-6455
tmainelli@idc.com
or
Michael Shirer, +1-508-935-4200
press@idc.com