From over a year, Apple’s iPad sales figures are suggestive of a bigger trend for the tablet segment. IDC had already minimized its forecast of tablet sales for 2014 and later, and based on the fresh quarterly figures, there is not a single change in the forecast.
However, Android and Windows running tablets are expected to see persistent growth for the next four years, but aggregate growth of iPad is looking less durable, with market share expected to go down.
The major issue with tablets is not popularity, as number of shipments will continue to grow, but people will stick to tablets due to cost and longer life-cycle, especially in the hybrid two-in-one segment which hold more power and boasts functionality somewhat like singular computers.
Moreover, one of the hindrances for the 2-in-1 segment is the reservedness of people’s acceptance of the newer versions of Windows 8, of which, the majority of those devices are powered by Microsoft’s platform. Android tablets have an upper hand in terms of market share, but it is not enough to increase the trend of a longer period of ownership.
Tablet sales growth was strong last year, but it has been forecasted to grow by 7% this year, and by the year 2018, it will break down to 4% with each passing year. Keeping in mind, making an effective prediction is not possible as of now and it can’t even be as accurate. There is a range of unknown factors, such as how consumers will receive Windows 10, what changes Apple might be making in its product line, and we dare not rule out Google with Android or Chrome OS.
There is still no full replacement for traditional computers, and the consumers who require real computing power, the tablets do not even come close as they fall short in that area. Nonetheless, that is exactly where the tablet segment needs to increase its business, as unlike smartphones, it can’t support the replacement cycle of one-to-three-year time line.