Market research firm IDC has lowered its tablet projections for 2014 following a second consecutive quarter of softer-than-anticipated demand. The revised outlook projects a 6.5 percent year-over-year growth rate, or roughly half of the 12.1 percent growth rate previously forecast.
Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director for tablets at IDC, said when looking at the global picture, it would be pretty easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down. But when you start digging into the regional data, it becomes clear that there are still a lot of markets driving growth.
Mature markets like North America and Europe are expected to combine for flat growth in 2014. The average selling price of tablets in these markets is expected to stabilize at $373 this year thanks in part to the ongoing shift to larger screens and cellular capabilities.
Emerging markets, meanwhile, are expected to generate 12 percent unit growth over the same period. In these markets, the average price of a slate is expected to drop to around $302. All said and done, this comes out to an overall global growth rate of around 6.5 percent.
With tablet sales on the decline, PC makers now have an opportunity to jump back in and reclaim some lost market share. The timing couldn’t be better when you consider Microsoft recently ended support for Windows XP, a move that has no doubt prompted shoppers to buy a new PC powered by Windows 8.