As most people who want a tablet already have one, the growth in tablet sales this year is likely to continue to decline.
In a statement Wednesday, Gartner, a technology research firm, said worldwide tablet sales will reach 233 million units in 2015, an eight percent increase from 2014.
Over the last two years, global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits.
Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner, attributed the steep drop in growth to a few factors.
For one thing, the lifetime of tablets is being extended as they get shared among family members. Plus, software upgrades, especially for iOS devices, have helped to keep the tablets current.
The lack of innovation in tablet hardware also means consumers are hanging on to their tablets for a longer time, Atwal said.
That, however, may change at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, where Gartner analysts expect vendors to announce new partnerships that lead to innovative apps, such as those based on personal cloud services.
Atwal said: “Beyond an enriched computing experience for the user, this next phase of the personal cloud will also help make the vendor and customer relationships more personal, with services and advertising automatically tailored to consumer demands.”
Meanwhile, the mobile phone market is set to grow 3.7 per cent in 2015, reaching two billion units in 2016.
“The smartphone market is becoming polarized between the high- and low-end market price points,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner, adding that the market for mid-range models is becoming increasingly limited.
As for the market share of mobile operating systems, shipments of Android devices surpassed a billion units in 2014, and will continue to grow at a double-digit rate in 2015, with a 26 per cent increase year on year.
2015 may well be a breakthrough year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
“From 2015, we expect Windows to grow faster than iOS, as the PC market stabilises and the challenge for the next iPhone to find significant growth becomes greater, narrowing the gap between the two operating systems,” said Atwal.