Citing "slowing consumer purchases" amid high penetration rates in mature markets, IDC now forecasts tablet shipments will grow 19.4% in 2014 (to 260.9M units), down from a prior estimate of 22% (271M units).
Tablet growth steadily slowed in 2014: Shipments rose an estimated 142% in Q1, but just 28% in Q4. IDC puts full-year growth at 52%.
Two silver linings for high-end/enterprise leader Apple (AAPL - 33.8% Q4 share): 1) ASPs are only expected to drop 3.6% in 2014, after falling 14.6% in 2013, as more consumers embrace "higher-end devices." 2) Commercial buyers are expected to account for 14% of shipments, up from 11% in 2013.
IDC also thinks Windows (MSFT) tablets, struggling to gain a strong consumer foothold, will take over a quarter of the commercial segment thanks to rising convertible adoption.
The revised forecast still puts tablet sales within striking distance of eclipsing PC sales: IDC expects PC shipments to drop 6% this year to 295.9M. Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 19% to 1.2B.