Competing technologies push IDC to lower tablet forecast
Competition from other technologies, such as phablets and wearable devices, is prompting IDC to lower its forecast for tablet shipments this year to 227.4 million units from 229.3 million units.
IDC is still optimistic about the tablet market, predicting that worldwide tablet shipments will almost double by 2017. Much of that growth will come in developing markets, as growth in the mature markets of North America and Western Europe slows.
The research firm predicts that the mature market will contract from 61 percent of the market today to less than half of the market in 2017. "Year-on-year growth is beginning to slow as the tablet market approaches early stages of maturity. Much of the long-term growth will be driven by countries like China, where projected growth rates will be consistently higher than the worldwide average," said Jitesh Ubrani, research analyst for IDC's worldwide quarterly tablet tracker.
Commercial purchases of tablets, particularly in the retail sector, are expected to grow from 10 percent of the tablet market last year to 20 percent in 2017.
To capitalize on the increasing commercial use of tablets, Dell is planning to roll our more business tablets running the Windows 8 operating system, according to a report by PC World. "In business tablets we can differentiate our offerings from our competition," Jeff Clarke, Dell vice chairman and president of global operations, said this week.
Clarke expects enterprise demand for Windows 8 tablets to pick up once Windows 8.1 is released this fall. "It is a dramatic improvement over the first version of Windows 8," he said.
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