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Android tablets to outsell laptops by 2017: IDC

Slab sales growth sliding as phablets and hybrids make their mark

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Hot on the heels of news that the PC market is withering before our collective eyes, box-counter IDC has emitted data suggesting the tablet market is also slowing down.

The news isn't all bad, as can be seen in the graph below and its prediction that nearly 400 million slabs of various sizes will sell each year by 2017.

But those sales won't be as high as previously forecast.

“Shipment growth is forecast to slow to 22.2% year over year in 2014 to a total of 270.5 million units,” the analyst opines online. By 2017, annual market growth will slow to single-digit percentages and shipments will peak at 386.3 million units, down from the previous forecast of 407 million units.”

Phablets will be one phactor in the decline of tablet sales growth as some punters will opt for big phones over voiceless slabs, the analyst firm suggests.

Hybrid Lapslabs that offer a keyboard and touchscreen will also make their mark.

IDC has also offered the following tabular prediction of operating system Tablet OS Market Share, 2012 - 2017

Tablet OS

2012 Market Share

2013 Market Share*

2017 Market Share*

Android

52.0%

60.8%

58.8%

iOS

45.6%

35.0%

30.6%

Windows

0.9%

3.4%

10.2%

Other

1.4%

0.8%

0.4%

Grand Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%



Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, December 2013

If we apply predicted sales to predicted market share, things get interesting. As we reported in our piece on PC sales, IDC predicts that come 2017 the world will buy 184m laptops a year. If Android hits the 58/8 per cent slab sales market share in the table and tablet sales do reach 386.3 million, four years from now Android tablets will be outselling conventional laptops. Which will make things rather interesting, won't it? ®

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