Tablet growth slows as consumers hand down devices

Sales of tablets are expected to slow down during 2015

Sales of tablets are expected to slow down during 2015. According to analyst Gartner, people are keeping their tablets longer and handing down older tablets to members of their family.

Gartner estimated that worldwide tablet sales will reach 233 million units in 2015, an 8% increase from 2014.

Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, said: "The lifetime of tablets is being extended – they are shared out among family members, and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices, keep the tablets current. Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware, which refrains consumers from upgrading."

Gartner estimated that worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultra-mobiles and mobile phones) for 2015 are estimated to reach 2.5 billion units, an increase of 3.9% over 2014.

Manufacturers are expected to launch updated devices this week during the Consumer Electronics Show.

"We also expect development in cognisant computing to help the vendors' relationships with consumers evolve from passive providers of hardware to in-sync with the user," said Atwal.

This could lead to the development of services and advertising tailored to consumer demands.

Gartner predicted that the tablet makers would develop partnerships to build such apps that use personal data to tailor the user experience.

Worldwide device shipments by segment, 2014-2016 (thousands of units)

Device Type

2014

2015

2016

Traditional PCs (Desk-Based and Notebook)

279

259

248

Ultramobile Premium

39

62

85

PC Market Total

318

321

333

Tablets

216

233

259

Mobile Phones

1,838

1,906

1,969

Other Hybrids/Clamshells

6

9

11

Total

2,378

2,470

2,572

Source: Gartner (January 2015)

While most tablets run Android, PC makers also offer hybrid Windows tablet devices with detachable keyboards. In the past, these devices were sold at a premium, but today many are priced similarly to high-end Android and iOS tablets. For instance, the 10-inch Windows 8-powered HP Pavilion x2 detachable laptop costs £279. Dell’s Windows 8 tablet, the Venue costs £169.

Read more on Tablet computers

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