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Egham, UK, January 5, 2015 View All Press Releases

Gartner Says Tablet Sales Continue to Be Slow in 2015

Tablet Sales to Reach 8 Percent Growth in 2015 While PC Market to Grow 1 Percent

After a troubled year in 2014, the global tablet market is not returning to the levels of growth seen in the last four years as demand for tablets will continue to be slow in 2015. Gartner, Inc. estimates that worldwide tablet sales will reach 233 million units in 2015, an 8 percent increase from 2014. 

"The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming," said 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. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, Gartner analysts expect the vendors in the devices space to announce new partnerships that lead to innovative apps that use personal data to tailor the user experience. 

"We also expect development in cognizant computing (four stages: sync me, see me, know me and be me*) to help the vendors' relationships with consumers evolve from passive providers of hardware to in-sync with the user," said Mr. Atwal. "Beyond an enriched computing experience for the user, this next phase of the personal cloud will also help make the vendor and customer’s relationships more personal, with services and advertising automatically tailored to consumer demands." 

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 (see Table 1). 

Table 1

Worldwide Device Shipments by Segment, 2014-2016 (Millions 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)

Note: The Ultramobile Premium category includes devices such as Microsoft's Windows 8 Intel x86 products and Apple's MacBook Air.

The Tablets category includes devices such as, iPad, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, Nexus 7 and Acer Iconia Tab 8.

Other Hybrids/Clamshells include devices such as HP Pavilion 11, Lenovo Yoga 2 11 and Dell Inspiron 13. 

The mobile phone segment is on pace to grow 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," said 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."

In the operating system (OS) market, Android surpassed a billion shipments of devices in 2014, and will continue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2015, with a 26 percent increase year over year.

"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," said Mr. Atwal. 

Table 2

Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System, 2014-2016 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2014

2015

2016

Android

1,156,111

1,454,760

1,619,030

iOS/Mac OS

262,615

279,415

298,896

Windows

333,017

355,035

393,256

Others

626,358

380,545

261,155

Total

2,378,101

2,469,755

2,572,338

Shipments include mobile phones, ultramobiles (including tablets) and PCs

Source: Gartner (January 2015)

Gartner's detailed market forecast data is available in "Forecast: PCs, Ultramobiles and Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2011-2018, 4Q14 Update" and on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2945917

For the Editors:

*Each stage is helping to increase both personal and commercial information about a consumer. The practical application of cognizant computing helps B2C companies to acquire deep insights into consumers' preferences and daily lives, which will therefore assist in creating better, more personalized tailor-made services and offers, as well as ameliorate customer services. This, in turn, should help providers strengthen their competitiveness (and responsiveness) in a market where consumers are becoming increasingly (and more quickly) aware of new services and offers, pricing structures and the reputation of a brand.

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