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Apple Unveils New Versions Of Popular iPad
An attendee looks at the new iPad Air during an Apple announcement at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Tablet Shipments Are Officially In Decline

Feb 02, 2015

The once-booming tablet market has hit some turbulence.

Year-over-year shipments of tablets declined for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to research firm IDC. 76 million of the devices were shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter, down from about 79 million a year prior.

The decline of Apple’s iPad has been well-documented: The device tumbled 18% in year-over-year unit sales during the fourth quarter and 4% for 2014 overall. But this isn't just an Apple problem. Sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets fell a staggering 70% during the fourth quarter, from 5.8 million during that period in 2013 to 1.7 million in 2014. Samsung tablet sales also fell 18%, from 13.5 million to 11 million.

The shift away from tablets can likely be blamed in part on the growing size of smartphones: Owning a bigger smartphone means you might have less need for a tablet. Apple just had its most successful quarter ever largely thanks to blockbuster sales for its jumbo-sized iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. People also tend to hold on to their tablets longer than their phones, at least in the U.S., because tablets are generally not subsidized by wireless carriers.

Despite recent trends, overall tablet shipments in 2014 did manage to grow slightly from 2013, climbing 4% from 220 million to 230 million. IDC projects that shipments will increase again in 2015 thanks to new devices running Windows 10 and the growing popularity of large tablets with screen sizes topping 10 inches.

Top 10 Tech Product Designs of 2014

Nest Acquired by Google in Jan. 2014, Nest Labs wants to turn your home into a smart device. The home automation system includes Internet-connected smoke detectors and thermostats, which have screens and chic, round designs — a huge design boost for devices that haven't really changed in recent decades.Aya Brackett—Nest
DJI Inspire 1 The latest DJI quadcopter retains the simple style that's made their drones so popular, but adds 4K video capability — and the ability to transmit the HD video wirelessly to an on-the-ground devices. A new ground-facing camera also allows Inspire 1 to fly steadily to keep the video footage clean.
Osmo Tangram
Jawbone's Up3 wristband
Nerf Rebelle Rapid Red Blaster
Oculus Rift Crescent Bay The latest Oculus Rift prototype, Crescent Bay, marks one step further before the commercial release of the virtual reality handset. Crescent Bay features upgrades like 360-degree head tracking, a lighter weight, and high-quality audio. Lucky participants in the demos recalled the mind-boggling immersion in the scenes they were watching. The consumer version, Oculus Rift, is expected to launch as early as April 2015.
Nest Acquired by Google in Jan. 2014, Nest Labs wants to turn your home into a smart device. The home automation system
... VIEW MORE

Aya Brackett—Nest
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