Eight miles high and falling fast! The sharp growth of the tablet market is soon about to be toned down due to market saturation, the newest numbers revealed by research firm IDC reveal.

According to the latest statistics published by the International Data Corporation, global tablet shipments for the holiday quarter (Q4) came in at an absolute impressive 76.9 million units. While this is a healthy 62.4 percent increase compared to the previous quarters, the on-year increase is rather low.

Compared to last year, this latest boost came in at just 28.2 percent.

When you consider that back in 2012 sales rocketed by more than 87.1 percent year-over-year, then it becomes clear that things are slowing down.

Tom Mainelli, an analyst with IDC explains this:

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past.”

The firm expects the commercial sector in mature markets to accelerate its purchase of tablet devices in the coming future, in contrast to the soft consumer segment. But all things considered, the tablet domain is about to become a much more challenging environment starting this year.

Global tablet shipments, for the record, came in at 217.1 million units. This is good enough for a 50.6 percent growth over 2012, when only 144.2 million slates changed hands.

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  1. Why is this a surprise? The only reason tablets and smart phones are growing so fast is because they’re either new technology or newly accessible. It’s equivalent to about 10 years ago, when everyone was pushing for there to be a PC and broadband in every home and classroom. The only difference is these are more individual products. Let’s not forget that a lot of people are in the process of switching from feature phones to smart phones and see tablets as companions to their smart phones. Of course there was going to be out of control growth for a while

    • It’s leveling out, alright. The numbers will still be there, just not the percentages.

    • Percentage could cheat you. e.g. The first year sells 100 unit. Second year sells another 100 units. That’s 100% increase. Third year also sells 100 units. But the percentage increase reduced to 50%. And so on.

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