TABLET SALES are showing no signs of slowing down and will drive the growth of the smart connected device market in the UK this year, analyst outfit International Data Corp (IDC) predicted.
IDC reported that UK tablet shipments, which included two-in-one devices, in the fourth quarter of 2013 grew by 50 percent compared to the same period in 2012, based on sales of over five million units. IDC said that this trend will continue well into 2014.
"Demand for tablets continued unabated during the holiday season [of 2013] with over five million units sold in quarter four, leading to a volume of 12.6 million units for the year," IDC said in its report. "Growth will naturally slow down as volumes reach high levels, but the market will continue to grow in 2014, supported by continued product expansion while accelerated adoption in the business space will give the market a further uplift."
The "smart connected device" category that IDC expected tablets will help boost includes desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
Last year, smartphones were the largest segment from a volume perspective, representing 60 percent of the total smart connected device market and a volume of nine million units in the fourth quarter, but with a more modest growth rate of 8.5 percent for the year.
"Volumes are expected to be sustained in 2014, supported by product innovation, competition, and fast replacement cycles," IDC added.
Apple was the leading vendor overall in the smart connected device category in the UK, with a 26 percent share of unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013. However, this represented a decline of 2.5 percent from the same period the prior year, when it had a 26.7 percent share of the market. Samsung came second with 24.9 percent, and Sony third with seven percent.
Apple continued to dominate the UK tablet market with 4.7 million units shipped in 2013, and maintained its lead over challengers Samsung and Amazon with two million and 1.6 million units, respectively.
Samsung continued to lead the smartphone market, followed by Apple and Sony, with the top three covering nearly 75 percent of the market in 2013.
In the PC market, HP maintained a solid lead in the UK, followed by Dell, Lenovo, Apple and Acer in the top five, ranked on an annual basis. µ