Apple at Core of Tablet Market Slow Down

After years of predictions of tablet market growth, at least one market research firm is putting on the brakes. Yes, despite Apple iPadEUs iconic status in the technology world, it seems the tablet market -- including the sales of Apple tablets -- is cooling.

According to the latest forecast from IDC, the worldwide tablet market is expected to see massive deceleration in 2014. Specifically, year-over-year growth could slow to 7.2 percent. ThatEUs down significantly from 52.5 percent in 2013.

WhatEUs causing the grinding halt? IDC said AppleEUs decline is at the core. The firm expects 2014 to represent the first full year of decline in iPad shipments. IDC is not surprised about the iPad and the overall tablet market slowdown, considering device lifecycles for tablets have continued to lengthen, much like PCs.

Windows 8 IsnEUt Helping Either

Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, said the tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets. In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every two to three years, he said.

EUWhat has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than three years and in some instances more than four years,EU Reith said. EUWe believe the two major drivers for longer-than-expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."

Drilling into the market, IDC reports significant advancements among hardware manufacturers to advance in the 2-in-1, or detachable, product category. Overall, the firm reports, devices are thinner, prices are lower and more models are available. However, that doesnEUt necessarily translate to market success.

IDC predicted 2-in-1 device shipments will only...

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