Tablet and smartphone sales slow due to a lack of innovation

A new report by the market analyst and research firm CSS Insight may come as a spine tingling reminder to tech firms that the uptake of tablets and smartphones can’t keep up with the momentum we have seen over the last few years.

Key findings highlighted by CSS Insight in its UK-market based research include:

  • Five million fewer devices will be sold in 2014 than in 2013
  • Mobile phone sales to drop 11% in 2014
  • Tablet sales to slump 14% in 2014

The UK is a vibrant connected device market with a high level of adoption and ownership of these kinds of gadgets. However the figures extrapolate to give us full year 2014 estimates of 27 million smartphone and 12 million tablet sales in the UK – this is 5 million down on last year.

A Phones4U shop interior

A Phones4U shop interior

Even though there is a slowdown there is still room for growth in sales, CSS pointed out in an upbeat note. By 2017 the number of tablets in use in the UK is still estimated to be double what it is now.

“The slowdown in tablet sales should come as no surprise to the industry. We warned back in December that the spectacular tablet growth we’ve been seeing in the last two years was unsustainable. With replacement rates for tablets slower than those of smartphones, a temporary lull was inevitable,” said Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS Insight.

Reasons for the slowdown

There appear to be three main reasons that people are buying less new smartphones and tablets:

  • Even entry level devices are no longer the poor performing devices they once were.
  • There’s a lack of attractive innovations in new devices
  • New smartphone upgrades have become less attractive thanks to very keen SIM-only contract offerings from networks.
Smartphone and tablet sales infographic from CSS Insight

Smartphone and tablet sales infographic from CSS Insight

Turning to positive reasons for upgrades of smartphones and tablets; the growth of 4G service availability could prompt quite a few upgrades in the coming months, the next generation Apple iPhone is expected to make waves and be quite different from its predecessors.

This story caught the Tech Assimilator’s eye on CSS Insight news site.

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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