Latest data shows that the market suffered an 8 per cent decline in shipments during the quarter to total just over 8 million units.
IDC tipped tablet shipments, including 2-in-1 devices, to decline 8 per cent in 2015, representing a notable increase from the research company's previous forecast of a 3.8 per cent drop.
IDC said smartphone shipments are expected to increase by 10.4 per cent in 2015 to 1.44 billion units. This is lower than the research company's previous forecast of 11.3 per cent year-on-year growth.
Research firm IDC said smartphone sales growth in 2015 will be slower than it had expected as sales in China slow down and the market there starts to become more saturated – and more like mature Western markets.
IDC expects smart wearables, which are those capable of running third-party apps, to really start ramping up in 2016. In 2015, IDC thinks that 33.1 million smart wearables will ship worldwide, up from 4.2 million in 2014. IDC expects smart wearables shipments will increase to 89.4 million in 2019.
Despite falling overall U.S. tablet sales, the nation's Tier 1 wireless carriers continued to add cellular-connected tablets to their networks at an impressive clip in the first quarter. Analysts note that carriers have been heavily promoting and discounting tablets, which generate additional revenue streams for carriers while carrying lower subsidy costs.
North America and Western Europe are going to peak in terms of smartphone sales growth in the next couple of years, according to a new report from research firm CCS Insight.
By 2019, 80 percent of smartphones will be shipped to emerging markets and 35 per cent will be priced below $100.
The global tablet market continues to show signs of slowing down, with IDC scaling back its five-year forecast and predicting that global shipments would increase by just 2.1 per cent to 234.5 million in 2015.
The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 7 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2014.