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Tablet Market Cooling As Consumer Focus Shifts To Wearable Devices

Digitimes’ Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai report that tablet shipment growth for 2014 is expected be less than 5%, noting that Apple’s iPad sales declined 16% sequentially in Q1/14 and the IT industry gradually turning conservative about tablet’s future, reasoning that with Apple experiencing slackening demand for iPads, other vendors are unlikely to be able to continue enjoying strong shipment and profit growth in the future. That’s according to Chen and Tsai’s sources in the upstream supply chain, who inform them that several first- and second-tier vendors have significantly reduced the number of new projects and order volumes for tablets, and turned to focus on wearable devices.

They observe that most vendors are no longer flooding the market with new tablet models, and are more typically offering one or two models covering the 7-, 8- and 10-inch categories, while pushing convertible notebooks for the 10- to 12-inch panel size range.

Chen and Tsai’s sources say tablets are gradually being replaced by large-size smartphones, and with computing performance and function much weaker than with little demand for US$299 non-Apple tablets forcing vendors like Asustek Computer and Lenovo to join the sub-US$199 segment.

The Tablet’s Reign Over So Soon?

With the tablet industry in a price war, Chen and Tsai say Google has shifted its hardware focus to wearable devices, while Asustek will concentraste on its smartphone product line.

The DIgitimes sources predict that in 2015 the tablet industry will see its first shipment volume decline since Apple unleashed the iPad five years ago and by next year, the IT industry will be filled with products that combine wearable devices with smartphones.

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