IDC: iPad intertia opens door for Windows tablets

Microsoft will capture a quarter of the tablet market as iPad owners stick with what they’ve got, IDC has predicted.

IDC: iPad intertia opens door for Windows tablets

The analyst firm has reduced its forecast for tablet growth in 2014, claiming the market is edging towards saturation point, especially in the West.

Although it didn’t name Apple specifically, IDC says hardware refresh cycles have slowed because owners of premium tablets from “market leaders” see no reason to upgrade.

Few are feeling compelled to upgrade the same way they did in years past

“After years of strong growth, we expect the white-box tablet market to slow in 2014 as consumers move to higher-end devices that work better and last longer,” said IDC’s Tom Mainelli, program vice president for devices and displays.

“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,” he added. “Few are feeling compelled to upgrade the same way they did in years past, and that’s having an impact on growth rates.”

IDC now forecasts the tablet market will grow by 19.4% this year, down sharply from the 51.6% growth rate recorded last year. As consumer sales slow, commercial shipments will account for a greater percentage of the overall tablet market, giving Microsoft a prime opportunity to increase its market share, IDC claimed.

“The choice of operating system will be a key differentiating factor when it comes to success in the commercial segment,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst, Worldwide Tablet Tracker. “Though Android and iOS will remain dominant, we expect Windows-based devices to capture more than a quarter of the market as its benefits become apparent thanks to growing adoption of 2-in-1s.”

Whilst the overall tablet market was 89% consumer sales last year, IDC predicts that proportion will fall to 82% by 2018 – suggesting IDC believes Windows will make significant inroads in the consumer market to reach the predicted 25% market share.

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