ANALYST HOUSE IDC has dropped its forecast for tablet sales for the rest of the year, based on interest shifting to phablets and wearable tech, and the lack of a big new entrant to the market.
Worldwide tablet sales are expected to reach 227.4 million units this year, down almost two million from a previous forecast of 229.3 million. However, overall IDC still sees a healthy market for tablet sales, with shipments expected to reach 407 million devices by 2017.
IDC is expecting a shift in the purchasers of these tablets. Currently consumers account for nine out of every 10 tablet sales, but by 2017 this is expected to decrease to four out of five, with businesses and the education sector accounting for a fifth of tablet purchases.
IDC expects mature tablet markets like the US and Western Europe to be affected first by uptake of phablets and wearable tech like smart watches, with emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia seeing bigger ongoing growth in tablet sales.
The next iPad could help reinvigorate the tablet market, as there’s always a rush of die-hard Apple fans ready to add to their tablet collection. The market could also be boosted by the new Nexus 7, which has just gone on sale, offering buyers a thinner version of the low-cost flagship Android tablet with improved screen and the option of 4G connectivity. µ
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