Tablet sales set for slow 2015, predicts Gartner

Tablets are doomed to suffer more sluggish growth in 2015 after poor performance last year, according to Gartner.

The analyst house predicts tablet sales will grow eight per cent this year to hit 233 million units, compared to sales of 216 million in 2014.

This comes after two years of double digit growth in 2012 and 2013, and research director Ranjit Atwal blamed it partly on a lack of innovation in hardware.

He said: "The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming. The steep drop can be explained by several factors.

"One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended - they are shared out amongst family members and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices - keeping the tablets current.

"Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware which refrains consumers from upgrading."

The decline in traditional PC sales is set to continue, according to Gartner, which has pegged sales at 259 million for 2015, down from 279 million in 2014.

Meanwhile, the analyst group believes Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system will grow faster than iOS from this year onwards.

"We expect Windows to grow faster than iOS, as the PC market stabilises and the challenge for the next iPhone to find significant growth becomes greater, narrowing the gap between the two operating systems," said Atwal.

The Android operating system passed one billion shipments in 2014, and will continue double digit growth this year, Gartner claimed.

This growth comes against a backdrop of a smartphone market increasingly polarised by high and low-end market prices, dominated by iOS and Android, respectively.