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API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

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TrendForce: Global Tablet Shipments Expected to Reach 205 Million in 2014, Up Less Than 5% Year-on-Year

Global tablet shipments are expected to reach 205.5 million in 2014, up less than 5% year-on-year, according to WitsView, a research division of TrendForce. The tablet market is sandwiched between internal and external threats that are affecting market performance. Internally, tablets have lost their novelty to attract consumers, and cutthroat price competition is creating a desperate atmosphere in the market. External factors at work, though, include competition from phablets and low-priced notebooks that are further increasing market shares.

WitsView Research Manager Eric Chiou noted, “Leading vendor Apple’s tablet shipments remained low in Q2 2014, estimated at only 13 million. Although the company will release new models in H2 2014, the impact will be limited. Moreover, iPad might experience its first decline since entering the market in 2010, with volume expected to drop from 74.3 million in 2013 to 68.4 million in 2014, mainly because Apple is unlikely to hold any major promotional or sales events.”

Meanwhile, the second largest tablet vendor Samsung Electronics is endeavoring to meet tablet shipment quotas, but growth may not meet expectations, up only 14% year-on-year to 48 million in 2014 because of poor performance in both entry- and high-end markets. The limited increase comes as the company’s GalaxyTabPro has seen fewer-than-expected sales due to high costs and because tablet products with similar specifications to the company’s GalaxyTabLite are being offered by many other tablet vendors.

Additionally, Amazon and Google, which typically release high Cost/Performance ratio (C/P) products in the third quarter of each year, are expected to cool off in 2014. PC vendors such as Asus meanwhile are cooperating with partners like Intel in order to drive down costs, which will result in an expected increase in orders.

White-box tablets are also in the doldrums in emerging economies. Chiou added, “4G development in China as well as lacking interest for simply Wi-Fi units mean white-box shipments will take a hit. Wearable devices are also emerging, which will result in flat shipment growth for white-box units this year.”

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