Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) dealt a serious blow to the traditional PC market when it unveiled its bestselling iPad product line in 2010. The introduction of cheaper and more portable devices such as Apple’s iPad helped lure consumers away from the traditional PC/laptop market and made Apple the biggest computer device vendor in the world when tablets are included, like market research firm Canalys does in its worldwide PC market calculations. Now, newly released data from market research firm IDC suggests that Apple may similarly help kill off the tablet market with the introduction of its phablet-sized iPhone 6.
IDC revised its tablet shipment projections for 2014 to 245.4 million units from the previous forecast of 260.9 million units based on a greater-than-anticipated decline in tablet demand during the March quarter. Based on the new figures, the tablet market is expected to have a year-over-year growth rate of 12.1 percent, significantly lower than the 51.8 percent year-over-year growth rate the market achieved in 2013.
“Two major issues are causing the tablet market to slow down,” said IDC program vice president of devices and displays Tom Mainelli. “First, consumers are keeping their tablets, especially higher-cost models from major vendors, far longer than originally anticipated. And when they do buy a new one they are often passing their existing tablet off to another member of the family. Second, the rise of phablets — smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens — are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets.”