Sales of tablets have been slowing, spooking a consumer-electronics market that saw these devices as a huge new growth area. Even so, research firm eMarketer thinks there’ll be a large audience of tablet users this year: more than 1bn people “representing nearly 15% of the global population and more than double the number three years ago”. And it expects this figure to rise to 1.2bn in 2016, 1.32bn in 2017 and 1.43bn in 2018 – by which point, the figure will be growing at just 7.9% year-on-year. Why conservative? “Tablets continue to be perceived as luxury items, both from a perspective of share of wallet and share of time spent with media,” explains eMarketer, while noting “increased competition from smartphones and a widening array of connected devices, including phablets, wearables, connected TVs and dedicated gaming devices”. An interesting stat though: eMarketer thinks China will have the most tablet users in 2015: more than 328m, so nearly a third of global tablet users.
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