Growth of phablets putting the brakes on tablet sales says IDC

Market research firm IDC is predicting a slowdown in the sales of tablets starting this year. Today it lowered its estimates on worldwide tablet sales to 245.4 million units for 2014 – previously it had estimated the figure would surpass 260 million. The reason is partly because people’s tablets aren’t getting slow and old as fast as they used to and also the erm… growth of smartphones, literally. It appears people are buying phablets as a tweener device meaning it fulfils the role of both smartphone and tablet in one device.

Samsung invented the phablet

Samsung invented the phablet, some say it’s still the best

IDC says, specifically that the growth in popularity of 5.5-inch and larger smartphones are the ones that are hurting tablet sales. It’s simply a case of these larger smartphones being “often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets,” says IDC’s Tom Mainelli. In sales terms the affect on tablets is that growth in tablet sales this year is currently pegged at 12%, last year it was over 50% – that’s a significant deceleration.

The newly launched LG G3, qualifies as a phablet

The newly launched LG G3, qualifies as a phablet with its 5.5-inch screen

Market research coming now in shows that while 2014 isn’t so hot for tablets the phablet share of smartphone sales “has more than doubled, from 4.3% in the first quarter of 2013 to 10.5% in the first quarter of this year,” according to IDC. That’s 30.1 million phablets shipped in that time to put a number on the phenomena. Thus it is predicted that tablets are going to become bugger to emphasise their screen real estate advantage. We have already seen bigger tablets from Samsung and Microsoft and there are also rumours of a 12-inch iPad waiting in the wings at Apple.

The HTC One Max looks as stunning as the rest of the range

The HTC One Max looks as stunning as the rest of the range

Looking at the wave of phablets, nearly every flagship smartphone presets a 5-inch or larger screen to their user nowadays and there are max and grand versions of these often in the lineup to fulfil phablet demand. We already have heard of Apple finally taking a step into the larger smartphone market with the iPhone 6. Also there is news today of Samsung has putting a 7-inch smartphone in front of the FCC in the USA and LG showing off a QHD 6-inch display for smartphones with an astonishing 600ppi in Korea, also today.

Do you plan to cut down on your devices by dumping the old smartphone and tablet and going all-in on a new phablet? Let us know in the comments.

Mark Tyson

Mark has worked for a number of years as a newshound on other technology news websites. He decided to write for Tech Assimilate thanks to this web site's open embracing vision of the fascinating world of personal technology. Mark has also worked in the printing and advertising industries for tens of years previously.

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