Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Decline By 8 Percent in 2015, While 2-in-1 Devices Surge: IDC

idc-logoTablet shipment are expected to decline 8 percent in 2015, representing a notable slowdown according to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker — more than double IDC’s earlier projections.

Tablet shipments are now expected to reach 212 million, with the vast majority being pure slate tablets.”In the past, the biggest challenges with 2-in-1 devices were high price points, less than appealing designs, and, quite frankly, lack of demand for Windows 8, which was the OS most devices were running,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Although the overall trajectory of the tablet market has not changed significantly over the past year and a half, IDC found that the 2-in-1 segment — also referred to as detachables — is starting to gain traction. ¬†While the 2-in-1 form factor is not new, OEMs are getting more serious about this market.

As a result, IDC expects the 2-in-1 segment to grow 86.5 percent year over year in 2015 with a total of 14.7 million units shipped. Although this volume is far below that of the more affordable slate tablet segment, IDC believes these devices appeal to an audience seeking an alternative to pure tablets with smaller screens.

Not surprisingly, price is playing a significant role in 2-in-1 sales. “With more OEMs offering devices in this segment, prices have started to come down significantly. We estimate that over 40 different vendors shipped 2-in-1 products in the second quarter of 2015, which is up from just 14 vendors two years ago.”

With the launch of Windows 10, the introduction of more Android-based products, and the possibility that Apple will unveil a larger, screen-detachable iPad, this is the space to watch, Reith said.

The commercial market has been very reluctant to migrate toward tablets, and IDC believes this is largely due to an unclear value proposition. The 2-in-1 segment should find opportunities within the commercial market, but IT buyers have been slow to move toward mobile devices beyond smartphones and do not yet see tablets or 2-in-1’s as a true PC replacement.

“Commercial segments will play a crucial role in the future of 2-in-1’s,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director, Tablets. “So far, this category has been the led by Microsoft with its Surface product line. But with the arrival of the iPad Pro, the launch of Windows 10, which is better suited for the 2-in-1 form factor, and the introduction of Intel’s Skylake silicon, we expect a flurry of new devices to launch between now and December 2015.”

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