IDC have just come out with an increased forecast of tablet sales/shipments for the year. An overall increase of just over 10%, sort of, hides a nearly 30% increase in android sales of we reckon going up by some 20 million and achieving nearly 50% of the overall market.
This is clearly at the expense of Apple and with a little extrapolation here & there (F = IDC forecast & e = our estimate) we see their growth rate forecast coming down to something like 15% from 2014.
This cannot be a complete surprise as if we look back to the iPod once it got above the million sales level it had 3 years of dramatic growth before being disrupted!
We though have a suspicion that the iPad may well have a longer growth track!
Another innovative product with slowing/negative growth is the eReader where IDC reckon “The growth of low-cost tablets is clearly damaging the prospects of the single-use eReader, and IDC reduced its forecast for the category by an average of 14% between 2013 and 2016. IDC believes eReader shipments peaked in 2011 at 26.4 million units. After declining to 18.2 million units in 2012, the category is expected to grow only modestly in 2013 and 2014, before it begins a gradual and permanent decline beginning in 2015.”
Elsewhere in support of a rapidly expanding tablet market Digitimes forecast that “Shipments for touch panels used in tablet products are expected to drop 2.5% sequentially by the end of the quarter to 49.92 million units.”
Whilst it is Apples and Oranges, so as to speak, the drop in overall tablet sales/shipments per IDC last year between Q4 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 was over 40% and we certainly expect a decrease from the 50 million or so in Q4 2012 but we are optimistic that sales will be well above 35 million with possibly a 2013 total exceeding 200 million.
We shall see!
All annual figures relate to calendar years.