With the Nexus 6, one thing remains clear: a big smartphone screen has value. In just about every review you come across (ours included, of course), the same narrative carried itself; the screen was a bit large for day-to-day use, but everyone saw the value, and could likely get used to it. Smartphone screens are getting larger all over the place, and seem to be causing fits for tablet sales. Now, the IDC says tablet sales growth will slow dramatically, and the iPad may experience its first decline ever.
While tablet shipments will still increase over last year, the expected 7.2% jump is a huge departure from the 52.5% uptick in 2013.
IDC says the life expectancy for our devices has risen, which means less replacements. That obviously means we’re buying less tablets, and shipments/sales will reflect as much. Newer operating systems supporting older devices also contributes.
Of special interest in the report is that Apple’s iPad, the one true market leader in terms of tablet shipments, is expected to see a decline for the first time ever. The final numbers for 2014 aren’t in yet, obviously, but the report shows a 12.7% decrease in iOS tablets (iPad, clearly) from last year.
Other factors affecting tablet shipments are two-in one devices like the Yoga 3 Pro. IDC also considers Windows 10 as a possible disruptor, as well as “what Google does in this space with Android and Chrome OS”. That may be reference to the Android/Chrome handshake with apps and cloud computing, or the ongoing (but unwarranted) expectation of a Chrome OS tablet.