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January 2014 data from CCS Insight predicted a “slump” in UK tablet sales in 2014.
The mobile communications research and advisory firm forecast that there would be 14 million tablet sales this year, down 3 million from the 17 million that were sold in 2013.
But talk of a slump is perhaps overstating things slightly. After all, CCS went on to state that, following a couple of years of “cooling off,” the tablet market in the UK would return to strong growth and see sales of 20 million in 2017. All the while, tablet user numbers will continue to increase. This is in line with eMarketer forecasts, which predict steady growth in user numbers through 2017.
CCS also forecast that the UK tablet market would come to be dominated by smaller, sub-9-inch devices—something that pre-Christmas data was already beginning to point toward.
January 2014 data from Deloitte also suggested that smaller tablet usage would surpass that of classic tablets this year. According to Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte's UK technology, media and telecommunications practice, “by the end of March 2014 about 165 million compact tablets will be in use worldwide, compared to 160 million classic tablets.”
Whatever the future shape of the market, there shouldn’t be any great panic over this mere blip in sales figures, certainly within the context of this unique space. As CCS astutely pointed out, it took the mobile phone market in the UK around 14 years to reach the levels of penetration it has taken the tablet market to achieve in roughly four years.
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