CCS Insight Releases New Tablet Forecast
- Sales expected to reach 256 million units in 2014
- Growth slows down to 28%
16 January 2014, London, UK — Tablet sales are expected to grow more moderately in 2014 as the market starts maturing. This is according to analyst firm CCS Insight’s annual tablet forecast. The forecast predicts two moderate years for tablet sales in Western markets, with the total global market expected to grow by 28% to 256 million units in 2014. This compares with a growth rate of 68% in 2013, when tablets sales reached 201 million.
CCS Insight expects sales in Western markets to pick up again after 2016 with demand for new tablets gaining momentum as many people start replacing their first models. In 2017, CCS Insight expects global tablet sales to surpass 460 million units, worth $80 billion for manufacturers.
Much of the growth after 2016 will come also from countries like China where the tablet market is still in its early steps. While China manufactures many of the cheap, low-end products seen in the West, the early adopters’ market there is characterized by a landscape dominated by Apple and its premium branded products. CCS Insight expects Chinese mobile operators to push their new 4G services hard in the next couple of years, directing consumers’ attention and spending to more-capable 4G smartphones and larger-screen “phablets”, preventing the tablet market from experiencing the ultra-steep growth pattern witnessed in Western markets.
“We’ve seen four consecutive years of phenomenal growth in the tablet market,” explained Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS Insight. “However, we can expect to see a more moderate growth rate over the next couple of years while we wait for current owners to start replacing their tablets. People have neglected the home PC over the last two years and spent their computing budget on tablets. Replacing the now ageing PC is likely to become a priority for many households in 2014, pushing tablets out of the spotlight for a couple of years.”
Other findings from the forecast include:
Small tablets will experience the biggest growth over the next four years
Lower prices, a compact size, high-quality screens and excellent usability are among the reasons why small tablets have taken off since the introduction of well-made seven- and eight-inch tablets in mid-2012.
CCS Insight estimates that smaller tablets will account for 60% of sales in 2014, and for 65% of sales in 2017.
Explosive growth in the last two years driven by plummeting prices
The average selling price of a tablet shrank by almost 30% globally in 2013, to under $300, as sales of Android devices, reaching well below $100 in retail in 4Q13, grew much faster than sales of the premium-priced Apple tablets. CCS Insight expects the average selling price to continue to decline, falling to below $200 in 2016.
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