Global Tablet Shipments to Near 300 Million in 2014
According to DigiTimes Research, global tablet shipments are expected to rise 23.6 percent in 2014 to total 289 million units. The large growth rate pales in comparison to smartphone growth, however, as the tablet market has already entered the maturity stage (when sales peak as the product reaches market saturation, resulting in increased competition).
Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) recently introduced fifth-generation iPad Air is expected to reach “only 80 million units.” The iPad Air's heavy price tag comes with many sales aimed at current iPad owners looking to upgrade to the latest model.
Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) is set to adopt more aggressive marketing and pricing strategies, as the second-largest global manufacture of tablets aims to widen the gap with first-place Apple. Samsung is expected to ship 52.5 million units worldwide.
The title of the third-largest tablet manufacturer will be held by Lenovo. It is currently the largest PC vendor worldwide and has tremendous advantages in its home market of China. The company is expected to ship 9.5 million units in the coming year.
The fourth-largest manufacturer will be Asustek Computer. The Taiwanese-based manufacturer is expected to begin selling its own-brand tablets. The company is projected to sell nine million units next year.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is expected to fall in fifth, while smaller players like Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are not expected to gain any market share or grow “only slightly” in the coming year.
Digitimes Research noted that 7-inch models will remain the “mainstream” size for tablets in 2014, while some vendors will attempt to differentiate themselves with 8-inch devices. Seven-inch tablets are “crowded with low-price and white-box products.”
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