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IDC: Tablets are losing out to phablets

IDC data shows the tablet market contracted to 50.4 million shipments, missing its growth targets year-on-year.
By Ananth Baliga   |   May 2, 2014 at 11:55 AM   |   Comments

SAN MATEO, Calif., May 2 (UPI) -- Tablets, which were popular during the holiday quarter, saw a sharp drop in sales for the first quarter of the year, largely due to the rise of the phablet.

Consumers showed more interest in phablets, causing tablet sales to slow down in the first three months of the year according to new data from IDC. Worldwide shipments for for tablets declined to 50.4 million units, a decline of 35.7 percent from the previous quarter and meager 3.9 percent growth from the same quarter last year.

"The rise of large-screen phones and consumers who are holding on to their existing tablets for ever longer periods of time were both contributing factors to a weaker-than-anticipated quarter for tablets and 2-in-1s," Tom Mainelli, IDC program vice president of devices and displays. "In addition, commercial growth has not been robust enough to offset the slowing of consumer shipments."

The slowdown was not limited to any one device, operating system or screen size. IDC said that sales were bad this quarter and it does not expect things to get any better the rest of the year.

Apple saw 16.1 percent year-on-year decline in first quarter sales, with shipments falling from 19.5 million to 16.4 million shipments. Samsung, Apple's nearest rival, increased its market share to 22.3 percent, increasing shipments from 8.5 million shipments to 11.2 million shipments in the first quarter.

While Apple continues to rule the roost as the biggest individual tablet maker, Android OS-based tablets are the most widely used in the world.

Follow @antbaliga and @UPI on Twitter.
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