U.S., Europe shipments of tablets will stagnateTablet computer shipments will stall in North America and Western Europe this year, causing IDC Corporation to lower its forecast for worldwide growth by almost half.
The market researcher is now predicting that the number of tablets shipped will rise 6.5 percent to 233.1 million in 2014, down from an earlier forecast of 12.1 percent. IDC expects no growth for North America and Western Europe after a 25 percent jump last year for the regions.
The new estimate highlights the pressure on companies such as Apple and Samsung Electronics as they try to refresh product lines with new models that can persuade consumers in developed markets to trade in their devices.
Apple’s suppliers are preparing to manufacture the company’s largest-ever iPad, with production scheduled to commence by the first quarter of next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Cupertino, California-based company has been working with suppliers for at least a year to develop a new range.
Tablet growth will come from devices with screens that are smaller than eight inches in developing markets, where prices are set to fall on average by 10 percent, IDC said.
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