Global Tablet Growth Set to Slow in 2014


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For the past two years the tablet market has ramped up significantly. The demand for tablet devices has even begun to eat into the traditional PC market, causing PC and Notebook shipments to decline for several consecutive quarters now.

For all that growth, though it could be that the tablet market has nearly peaked in established markets. DigiTimes Research today reported that 289 million tablet shipments worldwide are expected during 2014. Though this represents over 23% year-over-year growth from 2013 tablet shipments it also represents a slowdown in overall market growth. According to DigiTimes, this could mean the tablet market has now reached "the maturity stage."

Market growth for tablets is now expected to shift to emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India. The battle for brand supremacy will be fierce in those markets, with local white-box Chinese brands competing directly with big-name brands such as Samsung and ASUS.

DigiTimes believes that the resources of big non-Apple brands will allow them to lower their prices significantly, perhaps even lower than white box brands. The firm predicts that non-Apple brand manufacturers will ship upwards of 105 million tablets next year, slightly edging out smaller Chinese brands.

DigiTimes' other predictions for the tablet market in 2014 aren't surprising. The firm believes that Apple will continue to hold on to its market lead with Samsung following behind. Apple's shipments are expected to stagnate at 80 million iPads, while Samsung is expected to ramp up shipments to more than 52 million tablets. The firm also backs up rumors of Lenovo ramping up tablet shipments, predicting that the manufacturer will take third place in 2014 with over 9 million tablet shipments.