IDC ( has published a new forecast for the Japan mobile device market, comprised of PCs, smartphones, tablets, and data communication products such as mobile cards and personal routers. IDC expects unit shipments will temporarily drop to 55.1million units in 2014, resulting in a year-over-year decline of -2.1%.

According to the research group, smartphone shipments will drop to 30.0 million units in 2014, which represents a year-over-year decline of -1.0%. The slowdown will be mainly due to lower sales of Android-powered smartphones caused by the three major carriers’ promotional focus on the iPhone and slower new subscriber growth, particularly among consumers.

The commercial PC market is expected to decline -16.9% year over year, following some special demand brought about by Windows XP migrations in 2013. In contrast, the tablet market, which remains very healthy in both the commercial and consumer segments, will grow 18.3% year over year to about 9.4 million units.

Despite the decline in 2014, IDC Japan expects the total mobile device market will grow over the next five years, reaching 62.6 million units in 2018. The growth will be largely driven by smartphones and tablets, which are expected to expand to 36.9 million and 10.2 million units respectively in 2018.

“Over the short-term, the Japan mobile device market will have more opportunity in the business mobility field, while seeing a slower pace of growth in the consumer segment. In addition, more IT vendors are likely to invest aggressively, shifting their minds toward ‘solution-oriented’, instead of ‘hardware-oriented’, to add value to their business in 2014,” says Ko Shikita, Group Manager, PC, Mobile & Client Solutions, IDC Japan.