Analyst Gartner says that sales of tablets will represent less than ten per cent of all devices this year.
Tablet sales growth is slowing in 2014 as new hardware buyers turn to alternative devices and existing users extend the lifetime of their tablets.
Gartner estimates that tablet sales worldwide will reach 229 million units in 2014, an 11 per cent increase from 2013, representing 9.5 per cent of total worldwide sales of devices in 2014. In 2013, tablet sales grew 55 per cent.
"In the tablets segment, 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," said Gartner in a statement.
Worldwide combined shipments of devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) for 2014 are estimated to reach 2.4 billion units in 2014 overall, a 3.2 per cent increase from 2013.
Gartner projects over 90 million fewer new tablet purchasers and 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018.
"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," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
"Some tablet users are not replacing a tablet with a tablet, they are favouring hybrid or two-in-one devices, increasing its share of the ultramobile premium market to 22 per cent in 2014, and 32 per cent by 2018."
Gartner also says that the 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 per cent in 2014, while utility smartphone units (including low-end Chinese white box devices) are set to double.
Smartphones global market share is set to reach 71 per cent in 2014, up 17 percentage points from 2013. The Android OS is set to grow 47 per cent in 2014. And in 2015, Gartner estimates that shipments of Android devices will reach over one billion in emerging markets, driven by sales of lower-cost products.
Worldwide Device Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)
Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System in Mature Markets (Thousands of Units)
Worldwide Device Shipments by Operating System in Emerging Markets (Thousands of Units)
For more information visit http://www.gartner.com/document/2848418.