Despite the ever-growing number of new tablets hitting the market each month, it seems as though people just aren’t as interested in upgrading to new devices as they used to be. IDC recently reported in its WorldWide Quarterly Tablet Tracker that global tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments have been sluggish so far this year, with only 50.4 million units being shipped in Q1 2014.

Michael Cusanelli, Associate Editor

May 2, 2014

2 Min Read
IDC: Tablet Shipments Drop in Q1 2014

Despite the ever-growing number of new tablets hitting the market each month, it seems as though people just aren’t as interested in upgrading to new devices as they used to be. IDC recently reported in its WorldWide Quarterly Tablet Tracker that global tablet plus 2-in-1 shipments have been sluggish so far this year, with only 50.4 million units being shipped in Q1 2014. The decrease in shipments represents a sequential decline of 35.7 percent from the previous holiday quarter, and a meager 3.9 percent growth over the same period last year.

So does this mean tablets are no longer the hottest thing on the block? While it's too soon to say for certain, it seems as though the market currently is too saturated for the majority of customers to purchase new devices. And since tablets have gotten better and better with time, many customers may not feel the need to upgrade if they are happy with their current devices.

"The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s," said Tom Mainelli, IDC program vice president, Devices and Displays, in the report. "In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments."

In terms of global shipments per manufacturer, Apple (APPL) held onto its lead in the tablet plus 2-in-1 market with 16.4 million units shipped, down from 26 million units during this past holiday season. During the same quarter last year, Apple shipped 19.5 million units. However, IDC pointed out that Apple’s market share only declined by less than 1 percent overall, with the company still controlling 32.5 percent of the tablet market.

Despite the declining shipments, Samsung and Microsoft (MSFT) continue to gain market share, with Samsung growing to 22.3 percent this quarter from 17.2 percent last quarter. Although Windows tablets failed to crack the top five list, several of its devices have helped Microsoft to slowly but surely gain some footing against its rivals.

With all the media buzz around different slates on the market, it's no surprise consumers are finally beginning to come down off their tablet high, at least for the time being. While it seems unlikely that tablets will go the way of the Palm Pilot or the beeper, the market does seem to be stabilizing as tablets go from being the next big thing to a commonality. The real question going forward will be how competitors such as Samsung and Apple can reinvigorate some of the tablet hype with new features and services as each company continues to battle for market supremacy.

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About the Author(s)

Michael  Cusanelli

Associate Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Cusanelli is the associate editor for Penton Technology’s channel properties, including The VAR Guy, MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. He has written articles and produced video for Newsday.com and is a graduate of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism in New York. In his spare time Michael likes to play video games, watch sci-fi movies and participate in all things nerdy. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

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