Tablet market suffering a dramatic slowdown
The tablet market has been hit with a more dramatic slowdown than expected as owners are keeping their devices for longer, analysts have said.
Consumers are choosing to hang onto their current tablets for three years or longer, and demand for new models is expected to build from 2015 onwards, according to CCS Insight.
Prolonged battery life, regular software updates and robust designs mean consumers are happier to use their tablets for longer than they would their smartphones or notebooks, the report found.
Analysts predict most western European tablet markets to shrink throughout 2014, while worldwide shipments increase by 14pc to 231 million units, compared to 2013's 71pc growth and 79pc in 2012.
The UK tablet market declined by 17pc from the first three months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, the largest decrease in Europe.
Despite this, around 580 million tablets are expected to be in use by the end of 2014, and around 1.6 billion by the end of 2018.
The vast majority of demand for tablets continues to be driven by first time buyers over current owners replacing their ageing devices, CCS said.
Therefore the numbers of tablets in use will continue to grow, despite stabilisation from strong market growth in 2013.
Increasing tablet adoption in emerging markets is also likely to drive future growth, the report found. Of the estimated 389 million tablets in use by the end of 2013, around three quarters were developed in Western and Asian markets.
WiFi-only tablets and devices with smaller screens running Android are likely to benefit the most from takeup in emerging markets, while those with larger displays may prove popular to business customers due to their multifunctionality.
In Ireland around 54pc cent of households now have a tablet, up from 19pc in 2012, according to UPC. A total of 86pc have a laptop while 75pc own a smartphone. (Telegraph)