The market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that the tablet market is beginning to slow down.  It seems like the thing that caused the PC market to shrink will, too, cool off to make way for emerging technologies such as wearables.

samsung galaxy gear rumor roundup flat and in tact 970x0 IDC projects tablet market slowdown as smartwatch emerges

Analysts predict a slight drop in tablet shipment this year, down from an initial forecast of 229.3 million to 227.4 million, but the number will still be 57.7 percent above 2012’s shipments.

Many speculate that Apple is currently developing a smartwatch to complement their lines of smartphones and tablets, which analysts predict will dip into people’s pocket and turn them away from tablets.

While an Apple smartwatch is just mere speculation at the moment, a Samsung smartwatch isn’t. The South Korea-based maker of the highly touted Galaxy smartphone line has already confirmed that they will show off the Galaxy Gear smartwatch this coming September.

Smartwatches are deemed as a new breed of gadget that may pick up steam and take people’s focus away from tablets, but smartphones that will cannibalize its larger-display counterpart has been around since touch-based tablets became popular and widely available.

Phablets, as they’re being called, are smartphones with larger than normal displays, with some recent releases nearing the 7-inch territory.  These smartphone-tablet combos may not be the most portable handset (or should we say hands-set) available, but their convenience factors have proven to be very lucrative for big timers like Samsung.

Overall, analysts predict the tablet market won’t experience a drastic downward spiral like that of the PC’s, but the cooling off of the market itself is signaling that consumers are awaiting new innovations and holding off on new tablet purchases.