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IDC Lowers Tablet Projections for 2014 as Phablet Shipments and Slower Refresh Rates Impact Shipment Growth

Based on a greater decline in demand than predicted in the first quarter and concerns that tablets and 2-in-1s will face additional market challenges the rest of the year, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its 2014 worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast to 245.4 million units, down from the previous forecast of 260.9 million units. The new forecast represents a 12.1% year-over-year growth rate, which is notably lower than the 51.8% year-over-year growth of 2013.

"Two major issues are causing the tablet market to slow down. First, consumers are keeping their tablets, especially higher-cost models from major vendors, far longer than originally anticipated. And when they do buy a new one they are often passing their existing tablet off to another member of the family," said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President, Devices & Displays at IDC. "Second, the rise of phablets – smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens – are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets."

In the past year alone, the phablet share of smartphone shipments has more than doubled, from 4.3% in the first quarter of 2013 to 10.5% in the first quarter of this year, representing 30.1 million units shipped. As large phones clearly impact near-term tablet growth, IDC expects the market to rebound by shifting its focus back toward larger-screened devices. Products with larger screens--like Microsoft's new 2-in-1, the 12-inch Surface Pro 3— are expected to play a greater role in the market going forward.

"The shift back toward larger screens will mark a welcome sea change for most vendors as the average selling price for these devices will remain roughly 50 percent higher than the average sub-8-inch device," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. "Microsoft is also expected to benefit from this shift as the share for Windows-based devices is expected to double between now and 2018."

Total Tablet Market Forecast, 2013 – 2018

        Screen Size Band
Year       7 < 8       8 < 11       11+
2013 Actual       55.0%       44.1%       0.9%
2014 Forecast       50.8%       47.3%       1.9%
2018 Forecast       44.5%       48.9%       6.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, May 29, 2014

Note: Total tablet market includes tablets plus 2-in-1s. "Phablet" is defined as a smartphone with screen size of 5.5 to 7 inches.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide OS share for tablets and 2-in-1's over the 2013-2018 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.

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.

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

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