IDC trims tablet forecasts, expects wearables, 'phablets' to affect sales

Lowers shipment estimates by 1%, says emerging markets will account for majority of tablet market by 2017

Researcher IDC today slightly lowered its tablet shipment forecast for 2013 and beyond, saying that competing technologies, including larger-sized smartphones and futuristic wearable computing devices will steal some dollars that would have gone to tablets.

IDC says phablets and wearable tech will affect the sales of tablets like Google's Nexus 7 (above).
IDC says phablets and wearable tech will affect the sales of tablets like Google's Nexus 7 (above).

In its revised predictions, IDC trimmed 2013 tablet shipment expectations by 1% from 229.3 million units to 227.4 million.

The change also affected forecasts IDC has made for the years 2014-17. Today, IDC said global tablet shipments in 2017 will almost reach 407 million, about 1% less than a May estimate of 410 million.

IDC's projection for 2013, however, hinges on the tablet business having a bang-up back half of the year.

"A lower than anticipated second quarter, hampered by a lack of major product announcements, means the second half of the year now becomes even more critical for a tablet market that has traditionally seen its highest shipment volume occur during the holiday season," said Tom Mainelli of IDC in a statement.

Apple's iPad, for example, had a disappointing second quarter, with tablet shipments down 14% from the same period the year before. Like Mainelli, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained the downturn on the company's lack of a new iPad in the quarter. The first Retina-equipped iPad debuted in March 2012, and sales ballooned.

Along with slightly lower shipment tallies -- which IDC attributed to the influence of larger smartphones, often dubbed "phablets" by wags, and wearable accessories that link to smartphones -- the research firm also revised the timetable when emerging market dominate the business.

Phablets and wearables will impact developed markets -- the U.S., Western Europe and Japan -- before they do other regions, said Mainelli, and cause a faster-than-predicted slowdown there.

Where earlier this year IDC predicted that developed markets would hold a very narrow edge over emerging markets in 2017, today it flipped the two, saying emerging markets -- Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, China, Latin America and the Middle East -- will account for 51% of all shipments in 2017.

Not surprisingly, China was highlighted as one of the countries expected to drive tablet sales.

"Much of the long-term growth will be driven by countries like China where projected growth rates will be consistently higher than the worldwide average," added Jitesh Ubrani, another IDC analyst, in the same statement.

If IDC's estimates end up accurate, Apple will have to adapt to retain its diminishing share of the tablet business. While the Cupertino, Calif. company dominated the market with relatively high-priced devices until 2012, ever-cheaper models based on Android are continuing to drive down Apple's share.

The price competition will only get more fierce.

"We expect average selling prices to continue to compress as more mainstream vendors utilize low-cost components to better compete with the whitebox tablet vendors that continue to enjoy widespread traction ... despite typically offering lower-quality products and poorer customer experiences," Mainelli said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

How to create profitable pricing

How do we price goods and services? As business leaders, we have asked ourselves this question since the history of trading.

Lee Naylor

Managing partner, The Leading Edge

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Australia’s cricketers captured the nation’s attention during their recent run to the semi-final of the ICC Men’s World Cup. While the tournament ultimately ended in defeat, for over a month it provoked a sense of belonging, hope and empowerment for millions of people across Australia. Cricket, and sport in general, has a near-unique ability to empower individuals, irrelevant of their background, demographic or nationality.

Nikhil Arora

Vice-president and managing director, GoDaddy India

AI ethics: Designing for trust

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes much more prevalent and increasingly a way of life, more questions are being asked than answered about the ethical implications of its adoption.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

I live the best deals at LA Police Gear.

Tyrus Rechs

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Its absolute over priced acquisition. The CEO, must be fired for this all cash transaction. Absolutely no justification for prospective P...

about_face

Analysts question long-term play of SAP's acquisition of Qualtrics

Read more

Very well written Nikhil! Indeed this is a big ticket investment, but the impact on brand, sales and employee motivation should make it w...

Yugal Sachdeva

Sport and sponsorship: The value of event sponsorship

Read more

As someone with both experience in marketing and working with UiPath both, I can say that I cannot wait to see more marketing processes u...

CiGen RPA

What robotic process automation can do for marketers

Read more

10 Business applications of virtual reality (VR) technologyhttps://www.sendiancreation...virtual reality

sendian creations

The new wave of VR applications

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in