IDC Expects Phablets to kill Tablet Sales

May 29, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

IDC is lowering it’s forecast for tablets in 2014, lowering it to 245.4 million units, that’s down from an initial estimate of about 260.9 million units. This follows a move from Morgan Stanley last week regarding the number of tablets that should be sold this year. This would be a 12.1% increase year-over-year, which is a big drop from the 51.8% increase we saw between 2013 and 2012. There’s been big growth for tablets because of people dropping their PC’s in favor of a tablet, but with phablets becoming all the rage these days, tablets might be seeing the same thing that laptops and desktops are seeing. Thanks to phablets being a smartphone/tablet hybrid, it’s tough to sell tablets now. Especially when carriers want to charge you another fee for data on your tablet. IDC is stated that phablets nearly doubled between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014, from 4.3% to 10.5%, which works out to about 30.1 million units shipped.

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,” said Tom Mainelli, Program Vice President, Devices & Displays at IDC. “Second, 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.”

When talking about Phablets, IDC stated As large phones clearly impact near-term tablet growth, IDC expects the market to rebound by shifting its focus back toward larger-screened devices.” It’s interesting to see Phablets making such a huge impact on sales of tablets lately, but not really a surprise. As people don’t want to carry around two devices, and a phablet serves the need of both, for the most part.