Tablet sales set to stay slow in 2015

Tablet down graph

The tablet market experienced something of a slump in 2014 and things don't look like being much better this year according to a new report by research specialists Gartner.

It estimates that tablet sales will reach 233 million units in 2015, an increase of only eight percent over last year's figure. Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) for 2015 are estimated to reach 2.5 billion units, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2014.


"The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming", says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "In the last two years global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits. The steep drop can be explained by several factors. One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended -- they are shared out amongst 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".

The strongest percentage growth is set to come from the premium ultramobile sector though sales numbers here are still relatively small, 39,000 in 2014, expected to reach 62,000 this year and 85,000 in 2016.

The mobile phone market is set to grow by only 3.7 percent in 2015 and reach two billion units in 2016. "The smartphone market is becoming polarized between the high- and low-end market price points", says Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. "On one hand, the premium phone with an average selling price at $447 in 2014 saw growth dominated by iOS, and on the other end of the spectrum you have Android and other open OS phones' growth area in the basic phone segment, where the average phone costs $100. For the midrange smartphones, the market opportunity is becoming increasingly limited".

Android is expected to continue its rapid growth -- it reached a billion shipments in 2014 -- with a further 26 percent increase this year. Windows is expected to stage something of a comeback too. "From 2015, we expect Windows to grow faster than iOS, as the PC market stabilizes and the challenge for the next iPhone to find significant growth becomes greater, narrowing the gap between the two operating systems", says Atwal.

All of this should prove good for consumers as manufacturers fight to attract buyers for their devices, so keep a look out for bargains.

Image Credit: vinzstudio / Shutterstock

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