The worldwide tablet market, including both tablets and 2-in-1 devices, will increase by 19.4 per cent in 2014, down from a growth rate of 51.6 per cent in 2013, according to IDC.

The 2014 forecast has been reduced by 3.6 per cent from IDC’s previous projection to 260.9 million units worldwide. The reduction in the short-term forecast is mainly due to slowing consumer purchases as hardware iterations slow and the installed base, mainly in mature markets, continues to grow.

The report also indicates that, over the course of the past two years, average selling prices (ASPs) have dropped rapidly in the tablet market, but this too appears to be slowing. In 2012, ASPs fell by 18.3 per cent from the previous year, and in 2013 prices declined another 14.6 per cent.

Price erosion has started to slowly bottom out, with ASPs forecast to drop a modest 3.6 per cent in 2014, it added.

After years of strong growth, the white-box tablet market is expected to slow in 2014 as consumers move to higher-end devices that work better and last longer. In mature markets, where many buyers have purchased higher-end products from market leaders, consumers are deciding that their current tablets are good enough for the way they use them. Few are feeling compelled to upgrade the same way they did in years past, and that is negatively impacting growth rates.

As consumer shipments slow in many markets, commercial shipments are expected to increase as a percentage of the overall mix. Much of the tablet growth in commercial to date has been in verticals such as education, but going forward IDC expects tablets to continue to infiltrate small, medium, and large businesses around the world.

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