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IDC lowers tablet shipment forecast, expects phablets to cannibalize tablet sales

Tablet-Market-ForecastYet another lowered forecast for tablet shipments this year comes today from IDC following a similar move from Morgan Stanley earlier this month. IDC announced today that it’s lowering its tablet shipment 245.4 million units down from a total 260.9 million units, which is around 12.1% year-over-year growth for the category vs the 51.8% growth last year. We’ve seen how much growth potential there is for tablets vs PCs and smartphones, but IDC’s report notes that tablets might see increased competition from the phablet category this year. The report classifies tablets as smartphones with 5.5-inch to 7-inches and IDC thinks lots of consumers will second-guess tablet purchases and instead go with a phablet:

“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.”

IDC notes that the share of smartphone shipments captured by so called phablets doubled from 4.3% in Q1 of 2013 to 10.5% in Q1 of this year. representing 30.1 million units shipped. “As large phones clearly impact near-term tablet growth, IDC expects the market to rebound by shifting its focus back toward larger-screened devices.”

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.