IDC downgrades tablet shipment estimates for 2014

Tablet shipments are slowing. They're slowing so much that IDC has downgraded its forecast for the year. The firm now expects tablet and convertible shipments to grow by just 6.5% in 2014, down from the previous estimate of 12.1%.

A "second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand" spurred the revision, the research firm says. Apparently, the blame lies with so-called mature markets (i.e. North America and Western Europe), where growth is expected to be 0% this year. Demand isn't so sluggish in other regions, however:

"When we look at the global picture, it would be easy to say that the tablet market is slowing down," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets. "But, when we start digging into the regional dynamics, we realize that there is still a good appetite for this product category. While mature markets like North America and Western Europe will combine for flat unit growth in 2014, the remaining regional markets will generate 12% unit growth over the same period."

IDC expects those other regional markets to account for most of the growth in coming years, too, although that growth seems set to level off. In 2018, the research firm expects to see 5% growth in those markets and 4% growth in North America and Western Europe.

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