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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 30, 2014

Big-screen smartphones cause of dropping tablet shipments

New smartphones with larger screens are contributing to the drop in forecast for global tablet shipments this year, according to new data released by research firms IDC and NPD DisplaySearch.

by Helen Leggatt

According to IDC analyst Tom Mainelli, phablets are enabling consumers to conduct tasks they would normally reserve for tablets. Hence, IDC has revised their global tablet shipment forecast for 2014 down from 260.9 million to 245.4 million. Instead of last year's 51% YoY growth, 2014's will amount to just 12%.

As well as making do with their slightly smaller but adequate sized smartphone screens, consumers are also holding on to their existing tablets rather than replacing them. And, when the time comes to replace a tablet, those devices are often given to others who might otherwise have purchased a new one, usually a family member.

NPD analyst, Richard Shim, notes a similar situation in a recent blog post in which he reveals that worldwide tablet shipments of 56.3 million units in the first quarter of 2014 was 4.6% down YoY.

"The first quarter has tended to have the weakest shipment volumes of the year as the market comes down following the fourth quarter, when holiday shipments lead to the highest purchasing period of the year," writes Shim. "Still, there has always been growth in tablet PCs, as new models have been released or growth in emerging regions picked up the market; not this time, however."

Again, Shim relates the drop in popularity of tablets to increasingly larger screens on smartphones.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile technology, phablet, smartphone, tablet

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