The iPad is the ‘weakest link’ in the tablet market, where IDC says worldwide growth has hit the brakes, slowing to low single digits.
The analyst firm has scaled back its five year forecast for the tablet market following the first year-on-year decline in worldwide tablet shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014.
IDC says worldwide shipments are expected to grow at a modest 2.1% in 2015. Nonetheless, that still equates to 234.5 million units expected to be shipped for the year, and IDC says it still expects ‘low but positive growth… in the years to come as demand in the commercial sector increases, and Microsoft slowly gains a foothold’.
In 2019, IDC is predicting shipments of 269 million tablets.
IDC says Windows, which to date has had modest adoption in the tablet market, is expected to gain ‘significant share’ through to 2019, growing from 5.1% in 2014 to 14.1% in 2019.
“Microsoft is doing a lot of good things right now and we believe the launch of Windows 10 later this year will not only have a significant impact on Microsoft’s share of the market, but on the industry as a whole,” says Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC research director for tablets.
“There is an appetite for a platform that can provide a productivity experience that remains consistent across multiple form factors and device types, and we believe Microsoft is well positioned to capture some of that demand.”
IDC is predicting that Microsoft tablet shipments will increase from 11.6 million in 2014 to 38.0 million in 2019.
IDC says Android will, nevertheless, remain the leader, with a slightly declining market share – from 67.3% in 2014, down to 62.9% in 2019.
‘Once-upon-a-time-leader’ iOS is likely the weakest link, with IDC expecting its volume share to decline in 2015, reaching levels below that of the past three years. IDC is predicting sales of 60.1 million iOS tablets in 2015, down from 63.4 million in 2014. Come 2019, IDC is predicting iOS tablet shipments of 61.9 million, for a 23% share of the market.
On the phablet side, Jitesh Ubrani, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker senior research analyst, says despite the growing popularity of phablets, there still remains a portion of the market who want to use a larger device so they can tailor their experience to the appropriate screen size.
“Meanwhile and increasing number of vendors behind small tablets are reducing prices and adopting features like voice calling to entice consumers to purchase their products over competing phablets making the dynamics of the phablets versus voice-capable tablets an interesting one to watch.”