With tablet computers fast-becoming the preferred platform for reading email, interacting with ads, and checking out branded marketing videos, the marketing and advertising professionals of the world want to see nothing short of a strong upward trend line when the future of tablet shipments is projected by industry analysts.
Unfortunately, there’s both good news and bad news today when it comes to the worldwide tablet market. According to the latest preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, the global tablet market will continue to expand, but at a slow rate than previously witnessed.
Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 76.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013. The total represents 62.4% growth over the previous quarter and 28.2% growth over the same period a year ago.
“While the market’s growth rates remain impressive, they’re down dramatically compared to the year-over-year rates of the same quarter one year ago (87.1%) and indicate a significant slowing of the overall market,” the newest IDC report reads.
For the full calendar year 2013, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million units, which is up from 144.2 million units for the full year 2012 and represents a year-over-year growth rate of 50.6%.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past,” says Tom Mainelli, Research Director of Tablets at IDC. “We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond.”