Tablet growth to plateau in 2015

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Tablets have seen another slowdown in growth in 2014, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.

The research firm expects tablet sales to have grown around 6.6% in 2014.

This represents a significant slowdown in growth of the market. In 2011 the tablet market grew 311% and in 2012, 123%. This declined to 33% growth in 2013.

However, Peter King, Tablet Service Director at Strategy Analytics, cautions that the market is not going into "terminal decline."

"The story with tablets is that they grew so quickly…there is no way they could continue at the current rate of growth."

Peter argues that the levelling off of the market is due to a "lack of innovation" in the tablet market.

"All those who want to have (a tablet) have it…people tend not to replace it."

Whereas people tend to upgrade their smartphones with some regularity, tablets tend to be replaced only every five years.

Strategy Analytics projects a similar rate of growth in the tablets market for 2015, at around 6%. Part of this growth will come from emerging markets. However, here the technology will have to compete with other devices, such as "phablets", which compile several functions into one fairly affordable device.

"The Chinese love a phablet," says Peter. "Whereas we might have a phone, tablet and PC, it’s highly unlikely they’ll have any of these."

Business adoption of the hardware will also drive some of the growth, as the BYOD trend gains more momentum.

"So far it’s been a consumer market, whereas now enterprises, education, healthcare…they’re all starting to adopt tablets," Peter comments.

"Tablets will be around for a while yet."

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