Tablet PC Demand Slows, as Competition from Notebooks and Smartphones Increases, According to NPD DisplaySearch

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Demand for larger 9-inch and larger tablet PCs will overtake smaller sizes by 2018.

Figure 1: Worldwide Tablet PC Shipment Forecast by Screen Size

Leading brands are changing their business plans, because the rapid growth that tablet PC demand has experienced over the past several years is ending.

Global tablet PC demand is slowing and shipments are only forecast to grow 2 percent year-over-year in 2014. According to the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, 254 million tablet PC units will ship in 2014, which is less than the 14 percent growth NPD DisplaySearch previously forecast. Driven mainly by replacement cycles, tablet PC demand will continue to grow by single digits through 2018, and the average tablet PC screen size is expected to increase from 8 inches in 2014 to 9 inches in 2018.

“Leading brands are changing their business plans, because the rapid growth that tablet PC demand has experienced over the past several years is ending,” said Hisakazu Torii, vice president, smart application research at NPD DisplaySearch, “We can expect to see more competitive overlap among display sizes for tablet PCs, notebook PCs, and smartphones, as Apple has announced its new iPhone 6 Plus, with an increased screen size of 5.5 inches, and Microsoft has introduced its new Surface Pro 3 models, with 12-inch screens.”

Shipments of 7.0-inch to 7.9-inch tablet PC will be cannibalized somewhat by 5.5-inch-and-larger smartphones. The unit share of 7.0-inch to 7.9-inch tablet PCs is forecast to decline from 55 percent in 2014 to 35 percent in 2018. Shipments of tablet PCs with 11-inch-and-larger screens will rise from 2 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2018, as tablet PCs directly compete with smaller notebook PCs with screen sizes up to 13 inches.

Due to the ongoing PC refresh cycle, continued Windows XP migration, and the introduction of low-priced Windows-based notebook PCs and Chromebooks, NPD DisplaySearch expects a recovery in global notebook market with an additional 179.6 million units shipping in 2014. “The decline in notebook PC demand is expected to level off in 2016, with flat or slow growth thereafter,” Torii noted. “Consumer acceptance of the Windows 9 user interface will be the key to continued notebook PC demand growth.”

The NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report delivers insight into worldwide and regional mobile PC shipments with data for global and regional brands. For more information about the report, please contact Charles Camaroto at 888-436-7673 or 516-625-2452, e-mail contact(at)displaysearch(dot)com, or contact your regional NPD DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

About NPD DisplaySearch
NPD DisplaySearch, part of The NPD Group, provides global market research and consulting specializing in the display supply chain, including trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge. NPD DisplaySearch supply chain expertise complements sell-through information from The NPD Group, thereby providing a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information, visit us at Read our blog at and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Practice areas include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit and Follow us on Twitter at @npdtech and @npdgroup.

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