According to recently released data, year-over-year growth in the tablet market is projected to fall by more than 45% points from its 2013 rate. Appleís iPad isnít immune to this either as the Cupertino California company is expected to book the first full-year shipment decline in the iPadís history. The main issue facing the market which is likely to book a growth rate of just 7.2% in 2014, compared to the 52.5% in 2013, is the replacement cycle which is increasing in length. Consumers are now waiting four years or more to replace their tablets as opposed to the two to three years.

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers executive, Ryan Reith, said the following regarding the matter in a release:

The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets. In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years.
The IDC believes that consumers just donít need to replace tablets as often because manufacturers have committed to keeping the devices up-to-date with software updates. They are also increasing the size of smartphones which has caused them to help take over some of a tabletís duties. The release of the 2-in-1 tablet/laptop which run on Windows 8 platform have made the sales worse too. These devices are thought to account for just 4% of the market, leaving manufacturers to try other strategies for growth.

IDC Tablet Research Director, Jean Philippe Bouchard, had the following to say regarding the matter:

We need to look at how the tablet ecosystem is answering these challenges, and right now we see a lot of pressure on tablet prices and an influx of entry-level products, which ultimately serves Android really well. But we also see tablet manufacturers trying to offset this price pressure by focusing on larger screens and cellular-enabled tablets. The next six months should be really interesting.
Source: IDC via AppleInsider, BusinessWire