Emerging Markets to Serve as the New Battleground for Tablets

March 19, 2014
By: Rory Lidstone

With iPads and Android (News - Alert) tablets being sold at a rapid pace, it’s easy to forget these days, but there was once doubt as to whether tablets could be the “third device” that could bridge the gap between smartphones and PCs. Obviously, with tablets now common in many homes and offices, they have filled this role quite nicely and, according to a report from Compass (News - Alert) Intelligence, they should continue to do so for a while longer.

That said, there will be changes for the tablet market over the next four years. The U.S. market, which led the shift toward mobile devices as well as the tablet market, will soon play a less important role in these areas as the market matures. Going forward, it seems emerging markets will be the new hot spots for tablets.

"The tablet market witnessed rapid growth between 2010 and 2013," said J. Gerry Purdy, chief mobility analyst at Compass Intelligence (News - Alert) and co-author of this report, in a statement.  "Emerging economies are now growing at a much faster rate than the U.S. and this is leading to erosion of the U.S. position as the dominant market for tablets."

What’s really interesting is that the tablet market is slowing as this shift occurs, at least according to data from IDC (News - Alert). In particular, the global market for new tablets is expected to grow at a rate around 19 percent this year — much lower than 2013’s 52 percent growth rate. This could have something to do with the fact that PC sales are actually beginning to pick up again in emerging markets, forcing consumers in those areas to hold off on tablet purchases.

Regardless of the causes, Compass expects that this environment should ultimately benefit Android tablets quite a bit as the OS is already very popular in emerging markets.

This research was produced for Compass Intelligence’s Mobility Research service. The service also covers areas such as mobile security, mobile messaging, MDM and more.




Edited by Alisen Downey