EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. — U.S. tablet shipments will fall for the first time in 2014, sliding 13.4 percent to 48.86 million units to a level below that of 2012, IHS Technology forecast.
Sales will perk up in 2015, however, by 8.2 percent to 52.88 million, exceeding 2012 levels but below 2013 levels.
China will surpass the U.S. in tablet shipments in 2014, but the U.S. will still have the largest installed base, with more than 125 million tablets in use, the company noted.
iSuppli attributed the 2015 rebound in U.S. shipments to growth in the enterprise and education markets. “While saturation levels are high in consumer markets in the U.S., tablet penetration in the enterprise space is still comparatively low,” said Rhoda Alexander, tablet and monitor research director.
The company expects Apple to be a major player in the enterprise drive, “capitalizing on a growing suite of business-focused applications for the iPad, crossplatform connectivity, and the partnership with IBM,” she said. Windows-based tablets will also play an active role in the enterprise market. “Windows owns the enterprise space on the system side, and multiple competitors are introducing Windows-based tablets for that market in 2014 and beyond,” Alexander said.
In fact, the Windows share of U.S. tablet shipments will grow from 5.2 percent in 2013 to a forecast 9.5 percent in 2014 and 14.9 percent in 2014, iSuppli said. The gain is coming at the expense of both Android and iOS tablet share. The iOS share of U.S. tablet shipments will fall to 33.6 percent in 2014 from 2013’s 42.2 percent and will fall again in 2015 to 33.4 percent. Android’s share will gain in 2014 to 56.8 percent from the previous year’s 52.3 percent, but Android’s share will fall in 2015 to 51.6 percent.
The percentage of tablets shipped with cellular modems is holding relatively steady, Alexander noted, pointing to 8.9 million shipments in 2012, 9.1 million in 2013, a forecast 7.4 million in 2014, and 9 million in 2015, iSuppli noted, despite carriers’ aggressiveness in promoting cellular tablets to expand their subscription base in a mature cellphone market.
In retail-level dollars, iSuppli forecast a 10 percent decline in 2014 to $16.2 billion following negligible 0.4 percent growth in 2013. Retail dollar sales will resume growth in 2015, rising 2.9 percent to $16.7 billion.
At the retail level, Apple’s iOS accounts for the largest share of tablet dollar volume, but Apple’s share is nonetheless slipping, falling from 63 percent in 2012 to 56.7 percent in 2013. Apple’s share is forecast to fall again in 2014 to 51 percent and again in 2015 to 47 percent.
Android is also losing dollar share, thanks to growing Windows share. Android’s dollar share grew in 2013 to 33.3 percent from 2012’s 31 percent but is forecast to fall in 2014 to 33.1 percent and again in 2015 to 30.4 percent.
Windows retail-level share, on the other hand, grew in 2013 to 9.6 percent and is forecast to grow in 2014 to 15.9 percent and in 2015 to 22.6 percent.
The average street price of tablets will fall in 2014 to $350.3, from 2013’s $360.7, but will grow in 2015 to $365.3.
“The strong iOS share of this market and growing demand for larger screen, high-performance tablets contributes to the higher overall tablet ASP in this market,” Alexander said. “Individual product pricing can range from well under $100 at the low end to over $1,000 for higher-end Windows-based tablets.”
Among the installed base of tablets in 2014, IHS forecast 7-inch tablets will account for 58.3 percent of tablets in use, with 9-inch tablets coming in at 43.1 percent and 10-inch models coming in at 14.5 percent.