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Tablet Market Enters Its Maturity: Research

A latest research by TrendForce said that the worldwide tablet market has entered its maturity as the total global shipments for 2014 declined 2.2%, to compare with the same figure for 2013.

TrendForce’s study said that the total worldwide tablet shipments in 2014 reached 192 million units.

Regarding the phenomenon, TrendForce said that tablets do not have a strong productive role in everyday life for consumers, and are susceptible to substitution. The tablet market, however, did not have a noticeable replacement demand and additional growth was limited.

“In addition to the first-ever drop in total shipment volume, the rankings of the global top five brands also changed in 2014,” said Caroline Chen (陳虹燕), assistant research manager for TrendForce’s WitsView.

She said that the combined market shares of the top five brand names’ tablets fell from 70% in 2013 and 66.1% in 2014.

“This shows that the appeal of big-name brands is fading, and consumers are not as loyal to a particular brand as before with different options now in their horizons,” she said.

Quoting the research report for the global tablet market share rankings, TrendForce said that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) remained the leader in the tablet market now that its tablet shipments reached 63.4 million units in 2014, but it was still a 14.6% plunge to compare with the same statistics a year earlier. The latest generation of iPads, TrendForce said, do not offer extensive upgrades compared with the earlier generations, showing signs that the iPad’s hardware advancement has reached a ceiling.

As the second tablet seller in the global market, Samsung (KRX: 005930) also experienced a decline in its tablet shipments that the total amount of its 2014 shipments was 41 million units, a 2.5% decline, TrendForce’s report said.

Samsung struggled hard to keep up with its rivals in 2014, although it has a relatively wider range of product categories, from seven to 12 inches tablets.

Meanwhile, Lenovo (HKG: 0992) managed to push Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) out of the number three spot in the worldwide tablet brand rankings with its expansion of product lines and complete positioning in the price spectrum.

Lenovo increased its global market share to 5.6%.

Asus (TPE: 2357) occupied the fourth place on the rankings. Asus made it to the top five due to its promotion of the US$99 tablets and its well-established Transformer product line.