Preliminary data from International Data Corporation's
(IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker indicate that tablet
shipments around the globe grew to 76.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, representing an impressive 62.4 percent sequential growth rate and a 28.2 percent year-over-year increase. However, as obscene as those numbers are, they're down "dramatically" compared to the 87.1 percent growth in 2012.
According to IDC, this slowed growth indicates that some markets are becoming saturated with slates, including the U.S. Demand remains ultra high in emerging markets, though not to the extent that it can sustain the same level of growth as in years past.
"We expect commercial purchases of tablets to continue to accelerate in mature markets, but softness in the consumer segment—brought about by high penetration rates and increased competition for the consumer dollar—point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director of Tablets at IDC.
iPad and iPad mini devices still dominate the market, giving Apple a 33.8 percent share of the market, though that's down from 38.2 percent a year prior. Meanwhile, Samsung
lessened the gap by increasing its share of the tablet market to 18.8 percent, up from 13 percent in 2012.