“As the calendar year comes to a close, full-year Apple iPad sales are expected to decline for the first time in the tablet’s five-year history, according to a new report,” Karma Allen reports for CNBC. “ABI Research on Tuesday forecast for iPad sales to reach about 68 million in 2014, down from the 74 million units sold in 2013.”

“Along with Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google are also expected to post year-over-year declines in branded tablet unit volume,” Allen reports. “Comparing tablet operating systems, Android continues to gain share with an expected 54 percent of branded tablets including the Google OS in 2014 while iOS falls to 41 percent and Windows 8 trails at 5 percent of shipments, the report said.”

“The research firm sees overall tablet sales growing some 16 percent year over year to 194 million in 2015,” Allen reports. “The growth trend is expected to continue over the next five years with a forecast of nearly 290 million tablet shipments in 2019.”

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MacDailyNews Take: iPad is a victim of its own spectacular early success. 250 million iPads have been sold to date. Tablets last longer than the two-year smartphone cycle. Therefore, the “slowdown” of iPad sales is natural.

Apple doesn’t play the “market share for market share’s sake” game. Apple’s share of quality tablet customers is and will remain exceedingly high, just the same as in personal computers, personal media players, and smartphones.