Consumers are extending the lives of their tablets - and many others are turning their attention to phablets - which negatively hit tablet sales in 2014, according to the Gartner research firm. Global tablet sales will reach 229 million units in 2014, an 11 percent surge year-over-year, but manufacturers will need to create appealing offers to win over potential customers.
Phablets, 2-in-1 convertible laptops and other devices have become cheaper, and have become more appealing to consumers. Gartner believes there will be 155 million fewer tablet replacements through 2018, along with 90 million fewer new tablet purchases in the consumer market.
"The market is clearly favoring those vendors offering value in lower-priced smartphones," said Roberta Cozza, Gartner research director, in a press statement. "This trend has become more apparent, especially in the second quarter of 2014 when most of the top Chinese smartphone vendors grew volume and market share. As smartphones reach lower prices, Gartner expects nine out of 10 phones to be smartphones by 2018."