As consumers are opting for other device options like hybrids and two-in-one, global tablet sales are showing a slowing trend with the smart devices expected to contribute to less than 10% of all devices in 2014, research firm Gartner said today.
The company projects worldwide tablet sales worldwide to touch 229 million units this year, which is a 11% growth over 2013 and represents 9.5% of total worldwide device sales in 2014. In 2013, tablet sales grew 55%.
In tablets, the downward trend stems from the slowdown in basic ultramobiles, new sales of iPads and Android tablets, and the lifetime extension of current tablets to three years by 2018, Gartner said in a statement.
It projects over 90 million fewer new tablet purchasers and 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018, it added.
"Some tablet users are not replacing a tablet with a tablet, they are favoring hybrid or two-in-one devices, increasing its share of the ultramobile premium market to 22% in 2014, and 32% by 2018," Gartner Research Director Ranjit Atwal said.
Global shipments of devices -- PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones -- for 2014 are estimated to reach 2.4 billion units in 2014, a 3.2% increase from 2013.
"The device market continues to evolve, with the relationship between traditional PCs, different form factor ultramobiles (clamshells, hybrids and tablets) and mobile phones becoming increasingly complex," Atwal said.
Mobile phone segment will continue to grow in 2014 due to strong sales of lower-end smartphones. Sales of basic smartphones (including midrange Android devices) are projected to grow 52% in 2014, while utility smartphone units (including low-end Chinese white box devices) will double.
In 2015, Gartner estimates that shipments of Android devices will reach over one billion in emerging markets, driven by sales of lower-cost products.
Apple's new devices, which target the premium market, will continue to help drive iOS volumes. These devices will benefit from a controlled and integrated ecosystem, a focus on the user experience and a leading enterprise tablet position, the research firm added.