Report: Cellular-Connected Tablets Gaining Popularity While Overall Tablet Market Declines

Shipments of tablets and two-in-one devices are expected to decline by 3.8 percent in 2015, but within that declining market the percentage of cellular-connected device sales is expected to grow, according to a new report from IDC.

The report, "Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker," forecasts the market size and vendor share of two-in-ones (laptops that can convert to tablets), tablets and e-reader devices.

According to the report, tablet sales have declined for the last two quarters, and that downward trend is expected to continue through 2015. However, IDC expects cellular-connected tablets and two-in-ones to increase their percentage of the market share compared to WiFi only devices.

While cellular-connected devices held 31 percent of the tablet market in 2014, IDC expects that percentage to grow to 33 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2019. Meanwhile, WiFi only devices held 69 percent of the market in 2014, and IDC expects that percentage to decline to 67 percent in 2015 and 60 percent in 2019.

IDC also forecasts a decline in sales of small-screen tablets as a result of the growing popularity of phablets, as smartphones with oversized displays are called. While small-screen tablets held 64 percent of the market in 2014, the company expects that number to decline to 58 percent in 2015 and to just under 50 percent by 2019.

"This illustrates the direct impact phablets are having on the market, as users with larger screen smartphones have tended to have less need for a tablet with a screen size comparable to their smartphone," said Ryan Reith, program director of Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC, in a prepared statement.

Further information about the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report can be found on IDC's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].