Tablet Sales Slow Down; Microsoft Struggles - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
10/16/2014
08:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Tablet Sales Slow Down; Microsoft Struggles

Tablets are losing some of their luster, but Apple is still selling more devices than Microsoft.

Apple's Next iPads: 13 Things To Expect
Apple's Next iPads: 13 Things To Expect
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

With Apple expected to announce new iPads this Thursday, many analysts have questioned whether the new devices will revitalize slowing tablet sales. Research firm Gartner added more fuel to the fire this week, announcing new data that shows tablet shipments have continued to decelerate.

Gartner's report reinforces questions about iPads' growth prospects, but the data's most troubling implications were reserved for Microsoft. Analysts expressed doubt that Windows Phone will become a significant smartphone player and forecast that most Windows growth will occur among low-cost devices in emerging markets.

Gartner expects worldwide tablet shipments to reach 229 million units this year, an 11% increase compared with 2013. But tablet shipments exploded 55% in 2013, which shows how quickly the industry's growth has slowed.

[Will device freedom while flying be short-lived? Read Flight Attendants Want Mobile Device Ban Reinstated.]

Several factors have contributed to the tablet slowdown. In a statement, Gartner research director Ranjit Atwal noted that tablet owners are waiting longer than expected to replace their devices. Many consumers buy new smartphones every couple of years, both because two-year carrier plans encourage regular upgrades, and because users carry smartphones at all times, which means new improvements are often more deeply felt. But tablets play a more specialized role in most users' routines, and many tablet owners have shown they'll go more than three years before upgrading.

Additionally, Atwal said some tablet users "are not replacing a tablet with a tablet." He noted increased sales of two-in-one devices such as Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. Earlier this month, both Gartner and fellow research firm IDC released data that indicates PC sales, which had been in freefall the last few years, have begun to stabilize. Some of the improvement owes to new device types, as Atwal noted, but some also involves Microsoft's end-of-service deadline for Windows XP, a move that forced millions of customers to buy new computers.

After exploding out of the gate, iPads sales have begun to slow.
After exploding out of the gate, iPads sales have begun to slow.

Gartner said tablet shipments are still on track to exceed shipments of desktop and notebook PCs by 2015. The firm projects OEMs will ship over 276 million traditional PCs this year, down from over 296 million last year. Tablet shipments are expected to hit 229 million. For 2015, Gartner expects desktop and laptop PC shipments to drop to 261 million units, with tablets swelling to around 273 million.

That said, Gartner expects "premium ultramobiles" -- a category that includes two-in-one hybrid PCs -- to grow as sales of traditional PCs decline. In addition to the 276 million desktop and laptop shipments Gartner expects this year, the firm also anticipates shipments of 37.6 million high-end ultramobiles. Analysts expect this category to amass more than 64 million shipments in 2015.

"The device market continues to evolve, with the relationship between traditional PCs, different form factor ultramobiles (clamshells, hybrids and tablets) and mobile phones becoming increasingly complex," Atwal noted.

Other recent data indicates two-in-one devices have carved out a niche in North America but are still outsold by not only iPads but also Apple's

Next Page

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 1:24:19 PM
Re: Stating the obvious
Vista? I think you might be among the last users standing! We just did a Windows survey, results below. XP use is a bit surprising.
Windows 7 93%
Windows XP 41%
Windows 8.x 35%
Mac OS X (any version) 32%
Linux (any version) 31%
Windows Vista 7%
Chrome OS 7%
Windows 2000 4%
Windows NT/98/95 3%
   
Note: Multiple responses allowed  
Base: 310 respondents involved with selecting, deploying, or managing operating systems for PCs/desktops, laptops, or thin clients
Data: InformationWeek 2015 Windows Survey of 330 business technology professionals, September 2014
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 12:43:06 PM
Re: Stating the obvious
Yes, agreed -- the new iPhone hardware is significantly better. Whether the same will be true of the iPads, I guess we'll know soon!
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 12:30:52 PM
Re: Stating the obvious
Shane and I are both New Englanders. Maybe it's that Yankee frugality -- I also tend to drive cars until they become undependable and repairs become more costly than the vehicle. If a physical item that took natural resources to produce still serves its purpose, I say, do the Earth a favor and use it until it doesn't.

I think device makers would be smart to releease hardware only when there is a significant advance and pivot to doing more in firmware. 
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 11:08:56 AM
Re: Stating the obvious
Exactly, Shane. *Could* I buy a new tablet every other year? Sure. But why would I? Of course, I am an Android person. I get that iThings have the "latest and greatest status symbol" factor, but still. Don't get it.

Now, a new Chromebook is another matter ...
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 10:21:41 AM
Re: Stating the obvious
Even if the tablet is half that price, why toss it? Save the quicker turnover -- and investment -- for phones, which we beat up day after day. I think tablets got more use when phones were smaller and laptops were clunkier. But now their life expectancy is growing.
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 10:08:29 AM
Tablets getting squeezed
The tablet novelty is slowly wearing off. Personally I've had three phones in the time I've had my Google Nexus tablet, and each phone has gotten bigger. The tablet works well enough, but I use it less frequently than I used to when my phone was smaller. Tablets are in a tough spot. They're getting double dinged: by bigger, better phones on one side and by dynamic two-in-one options that can replace traditional laptops on the other.
Lorna Garey
100%
0%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/16/2014 | 10:01:14 AM
Stating the obvious
I am not sure why anyone is surprised that people don't toss their $700 tablets every 24 months. AmI missing something?
<<   <   Page 2 / 2
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Commentary
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll