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Tablet PC Quarterly Shipments Fall for First Time in Q1, 2014: NPD DisplaySearch

Jul 31, 2014 | By Quincy Liang

Global shipments of tablet PCs declined year-on-year (YoY) for the first time in the first quarter of 2014 to 56 million units; many brands reported weak tablet PC shipment results in the period due in part to delayed launches of new products, according to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch, which has lowered its forecast for tablet PC shipments in 2014 to 285 million units.

Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast by Application (Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report)Worldwide Mobile PC Shipment Forecast by Application (Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report)

Shipments of notebook PCs in the first quarter, however, were higher-than-expected due to the commercial PC refresh cycle and Windows XP migration.

“Tablet PC demand in 2014 is being affected by falling demand for the 7-inch class in emerging regions and in China, where many local white-box brands have experienced lower-than-expected shipment growth,” said Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch. “Most major brands have recently reduced their business plans for 2014. There is a risk that the replacement cycle for tablet PCs will lengthen beyond the one to two year range unless brands can develop more attractive usage scenarios.”

For the past several years, tablet PCs and smartphones have been the primary growth driver in the smart device category. In 2014, the YoY growth rate of tablet PCs will fall to just 14% and by 2017 will slow to single digits, NPD DisplaySearch said.

Global Tablet PC Shipment Forecast by Size (Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report)Global Tablet PC Shipment Forecast by Size (Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report)

The market research firm expects that competition between 5.5-inch and larger smartphones and 7- to 7.9-inch tablet PCs will reduce demand for tablet PCs through 2018. Unit share for 7- to 7.9-inch tablet PC displays peaked at 58% in 2013, but it will gradually decline in 2014 and beyond. Major brands are likely to move to larger sizes, and shipments of 8- to 10.9-inch tablet PCs will overtake 7- to 7.9-inch tablet PCs by 2018. In addition, NPD DisplaySearch expects 11-inch and larger tablets will exceed 10% of the market by 2018. “The increase in screen sizes will help increase tablet PC revenues.” Torii said.


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