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IDC lowers forecast of tablet sales for 2014

IDC lowers forecast of tablet sales for 2014
With laptop prices dropping, smartphone screens rising, and replacement cycles getting longer, tablet sales have been trending lower. The drop-off in sales is noticeable enough for IDC to cut its 2014 sales projections. The researcher now expects to see 233.1 million slates sold this year, down from a forecast made in May, which called for sales of 245.4 million tablets. And that estimate was lower from one made earlier in the year that called for 260.9 million tablets to be sold this year.

This is a trend that IDC spotted since the beginning of the year. The research firm expects tablet sales (including 2-in-1 devices) in North America and Western Europe to be flat this year, rising to 4% growth by 2018. Sales in the rest of the world will drop from 12% this year to just 5% in 2018. The average selling price of $373 for tablets in the mature market is holding steady, thanks to sales of larger screened slates and tablets with cellular capabilities. Tablet pricing in the rest of the world is expected to slump 10% this year to an average of $302.

Smartphone sales are going through a similar slump. Sales in mature markets are expected to rise less than 5% this year, while emerging market sales of intelligent handsets are expected by IDC to rise 32.5% in 2014. By 2018, those figures are expected to be down to 2.7% and 8.3%, respectively. Part of the problem for manufacturers is that the average selling price for emerging markets is under $250 compared to the greater than $400 average selling price for smartphones in mature regions. This obviously has a negative impact on margins.

source: IDC via PCWorld

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