International Data Corporation (IDC) reduced the 2014 forecast for both tablets and 2-in-1 devices.
The research firm reduced the 2014 forecast by -3.6% from its previous projection to 260.9 million units worldwide, due to slowing consumer purchases as hardware iterations slow and the installed base - particularly in mature markets- continues to grow.
IDC now says that the total tablet market, inclusive of both tablets and 2-in-1 devices, is expected to grow 19.4% in 2014, down from a growth rate of 51.6% in 2013.
Over the course of the past two years average selling prices (ASPs) have declined rapidly in the tablet market, but this too appears to be slowing. In 2012, ASPs declined -18.3% from the previous year, and in 2013 prices dropped another -14.6%. Price erosion has started to slowly bottom out, with ASPs forecast to drop a modest -3.6% in 2014. IDC believes ASP declines will slow for several reasons; chief among them are the growth of higher-priced commercial shipments and a consumer movement away from ultra-low cost products.
As consumer shipments slow in many markets, commercial shipments will grow as a percentage of the overall mix. Much of the tablet growth in commercial to date has been in verticals such as education, but going forward IDC expects tablets to continue to infiltrate small, medium, and large businesses around the world. This commercial growth is likely to benefit Microsoft's Windows over time.