RESEARCH FIRM International Data Corp (IDC) reported this week that tablet shipments in 2014 are likely to be worse than expected, which it blames on the rise of large-screen smartphones.
In a report released on Thursday, IDC said that it has revised its annual tablets shipments forecast, which also includes two-in-one devices, from 260.9 million units down to 245.5 million.
The firm expects 7in to 8in tablets to make up 44.5 percent of sales, 8in to 11in tablets 47.3 percent and tablets over 11in, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, 1.9 percent, with these large-screen devices expected to play a "greater role" going forward.
This new figure, if accurate, represents 12.1 percent year on year growth, a large tumble compared to the 51.8 percent growth the tablet market saw in 2013. This, IDC noted, is largely due to the rise in phablet devices, with handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max bridging the gap between smartphones and tablets.
IDC VP of devices and displays Tom Mainelle said, "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."
This follows a recent report from research firm Juniper, which claimed that sales of phablet devices will soar 600 percent in the next four years, with shipments tipped to hit 120 million in 2018.
IDC also noted that the longevities of tablets are holding back sales, with users keeping devices longer than it had expected.
Mainelli added, "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." µ