Gartner Predicts Tablet Slump And Windows Growth In 2015

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Tablet sales fell dramatically in 2014 and will only grow by eight percent this year, according to analyst predictions

Tablet sales are unlikely to pick up during 2015 according to Gartner, which says the market will grow by just eight percent over the next 12 months.

Sales slumped dramatically during 2014 and analysts expect 233 million such devices will be shipped this year, a figure which it is predicted will rise to 259 million in 2016.

“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.”

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Slowing tablet sales and smartphone shipments in developed markets have led to many companies chasing emerging markets and the business sector to maintain growth. Apple iPad sales have fallen by seven percent, with Android tablets overtaking for the first time earlier this year, but the company hopes a refreshed range of tablets and its enterprise partnership with IBM will reverse this trend.

PC sales are expected to increase by one percent to 321 million thanks to the popularity of ‘premium ultramobiles’ like the MacBook Air and Windows 8 devices. However mobile phones will be by far and away the most popular device type and Gartner says 1.9 billion will be sold in 2015.

On all device types, Android is dominant having surpassed one billion shipments in 2014. The platform is expected to grow by 26 percent this year but Windows’ growth is expected to be faster than iOS thanks to the stabilisation of the PC market and intense competition in the smartphone sector.

“The smartphone market is becoming polarised between the high- and low-end market price points,” adds 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.”

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