By Jay Jay
2014 could go down as the first year in the history of tablet manufacturing when sales took a plunge, not dip, in every quarter.
International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed yesterday that the worldwide tablet market is expected to see its year-on-year sales slump to 7.2% in 2014 from as high as 52.5% in 2013.
The report pointed a finger at the decline towards the lengthening device life-cycles of tablets that resemble PCs more than those of smartphones.
Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Tracks, said “In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
The report added that shipment of tablets in 2014 will reach 8.4 million units which is only 4% of the entire tablet market.
The picture looks brighter for entry-level products on which tablet-makers invest heavily on larger screens, add-on applications and voice-enabled services.
Tablet shipments in the future could vary based on Apple’s rumoured product line expension, industry reaction to Windows 10 and future updates in Android and Chrome OS.