Tablet Sales Prediction Cut as Consumers Weigh Choices


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After an amazing holiday 2012 showing, the tablet market slowed down during the first half of 2013. Market watchers have attributed the slowdown to a lack of new product announcements in the tablet space, but expect the market to heat up this fall. Companies such as Apple and Amazon are expected to announce their refreshed tablet lineups starting next month.

Today, analyst firm IDC tempered its high expectations for the tablet market this fall. The firm now expects global tablet shipments to top 227.4 million units, down from its earlier prediction of 229.3 million. The revised estimate was attributed to slowing tablet market growth in western nations, as well as increased competition from larger smartphones and other competing products.

"A lower than anticipated second quarter, hampered by a lack of major product announcements, means the second half of the year now becomes even more critical for a tablet market that has traditionally seen its highest shipment volume occur during the holiday season," said Tom Mainelli, research director for tablets at IDC. "We expect average selling prices to continue to compress as more mainstream vendors utilize low-cost components to better compete with the whitebox tablet vendors that continue to enjoy widespread traction in the market despite typically offering lower-quality products and poorer customer experiences."

Though the market may not reach the heights envisioned earlier this year, shipments for the year are still expected to beat 2012 shipments by 57.7%. IDC also predicts that worldwide tablet shipments will hit 407 million units by the year 2017, an even more generous prediction than the 381 million predicted by analyst firm Forrester Research earlier this month.

(Image courtesy Apple)