Forecasts for worldwide tablet shipments during the remainder of 2013 and beyond have been tapered by marketing intelligence firm, IDC, in its Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

IDC believes the humble tablet is facing mounting competition from larger smartphones such as the emerging phablet sector and new categories like wearables, predicted to reach maturity in 2018. Both are said to be diverting consumer spending even now.

Shipments across the globe are set to reach 227 million units in 2013, down from a previous forecast of 229 million. Although, the year-on-year growth is still staggering considering it is 58% above 2012 shipments.

Dearth of New Products

New lines of tablet products are not coming to market as frequently as they once were, which IDC tablets research director, Tom Mainelli, feels is only one of the reasons behind the shipping shortfall.

“A lower than anticipated second quarter, hampered by a lack of major product announcements, means the second half of the year now becomes even more critical for a tablet market that has traditionally seen its highest shipment volume occur during the holiday season,” Mainelli said.

Despite the reduction, the market will maintain a steep growth trajectory well into 2017 when shipments will close in on the 407 million unit mark. IDC has also adjusted its regional outlook with maturing markets conceding ground to emerging ones.

Mature markets comprising western Europe, North America and Japan are expected to shrink from 61% of the worldwide market in 2012 to 49% by 2017. Emerging regions, such as central/eastern Europe and Latin America will rise from 39% in 2012 to 51% in 2017.