Apple expected to reverse iPad misfortunes in 2015: report

According to the latest forecasts from market analyst firm ABI Research, tablet growth is expected to resume and continue over the next five years with a forecast of nearly 290 million tablet shipments in 2019.

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As the calendar year comes to a close, many of the world’s tablet vendors are looking forward to opportunities in 2015 and are hoping to avoid a repeat of lackluster 2014 results.

Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Google are expected to show year-over-year declines in branded tablet unit volume, while Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung should end higher in calendar year 2014.

“Historically, Apple has counted approximately 35 percent of its iPad sales in the last calendar quarter of the year,” says ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr.

“Unless Apple can pull off a 32 million unit quarter, sales for 2014 will be down for the first year since the iPad launched.”

ABI Research predicts Apple iPad to reach nearly 68 million in 2014, compared to just over 74 million shipped in 2013.

Samsung, the second largest tablet vendor, is expected to ship nearly 43 million tablets in 2014, up from the 38 million in the previous calendar year.

Comparing tablet operating systems, Android continues to gain share with an expected 54 percent of branded tablets including the Google OS in 2014 while iOS falls to 41 percent and Windows 8 trails at 5 percent of shipments.

The tablet outlook for 2015 paints a better picture for OEMs. There are several factors that will lead worldwide branded shipments to grow 16 percent year-over-year to 194 million:

• Broader tablet adoption by businesses for the “clipboard workforce”
• Clearer, tiered product portfolios from leading OEMs
• Benefits-oriented marketing messaging by vendors to reach laggard adopters in the most mature market economies

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