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IDC Cuts Tablet Forecast as Wearable Computing Gains

Tablet Forecast Cut by Researcher IDC on Wearable Competition
People examine an Apple Inc. iPad Mini in San Jose, California. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg

Research firm IDC cut its forecast for tablet-computer sales through 2017 as larger smartphones and wearable technology, such as Google Inc.’s Glass, compete for consumers’ attention.

Tablet shipments will reach 227.4 million this year, down 0.8 percent from an earlier forecast, IDC said today in a statement. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company reduced its 2017 forecast by 0.7 percent to 407 million.

Google is betting that Glass, its Web-enabled eyeglasses, will substitute some of the tasks users now handle with tablets and smartphones, such as getting directions or doing video chats. Smartphone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co., meanwhile, have introduced devices with screens as large as 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) diagonally, approaching the 7.9-inch size of tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad Mini.

IDC also boosted its forecast for the portion of tablet shipments that will go to emerging markets. Regions including Asia, Latin America, central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa will get 51 percent of shipments in 2017, IDC said.

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