Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

While iPad Sales Slip, Windows Tablets Are about to Take Off: IDC

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

While iPad Sales Slip, Windows Tablets Are about to Take Off: IDC

Article excerpt

Compared to Apple and Android, Windows tablets are typically thought of as the runt of the litter, at least in terms of sales. But the latest report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) finally gives the Microsoft operating system something to brag about.

According to the IDC's five-year forecast for tablet sales, Windows will be the only mobile operating system to break from the pack and flourish in an otherwise stagnant market.

The overall tablet market has suffered (and apparently will continue to suffer) in the face of the rising popularity of phablets, which give customers the big screen of a tablet, with the call capabilities of a phone. After the tablet market experienced its first year-over-year decline in worldwide shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014, IDC "scaled back" its forecasts for tablet sales.

Even though the research company expects a 2.1 percent year-over- year growth rate from 2014, with the entire tablet industry moving 234.5 million units this year, the future is rather dim. By 2019, IDC expects that total market sales will reach 269.4 million tablets, anticipating positive but slow growth.

"Despite the growing popularity of phablets, there still remains a portion of the market that wants to use a larger device so they can tailor their experience to the appropriate screen size," says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, in a press release. "Meanwhile, an increasing number of vendors behind small tablets are reducing prices and adopting features like voice calling to entice consumers to purchase their products over competing phablets, making the dynamics of phablets vs voice-capable tablets an interesting one to watch."

While Windows tablets held only 5.1 percent of the market in 2014, IDC predicts that Microsoft will end 2015 snagging 7 percent of all tablet purchases. But the real forecast victory for Windows is the leap to 14.1 percent of the market in 2019 by moving around 38 million units, more than double the predicted sales for 2015. …

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