In just a short span of time, tablets have gone from a computing/communications device and consumer electronics growth leader to an also-ran. Growth will pick up again, but not until 2018 and then top out in single-digit rates, according to the latest from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.
Global tablet shipments will decline 12 percent year-over-year (YoY) in 2016 and total 182.3 million units, IDC forecasts. Looking farther out, detachable tablets will gradually gain traction and fuel a rebound in market growth from 2018-2020.
“The benefits of a thin and light design combined with a touchscreen are bolstering growth in the detachable tablet market, but are also bleeding over into the PC market as slim and convertible-type notebooks gain popularity,” commented IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers senior analyst Jitesh Ubrani. “This is a welcome change for vendors as average selling prices for notebooks and tablets are expected to increase in the near term.”
Global Tablet Shipments
In mature market regions, such as North America, tablet growth will continue at a single-digit pace until 2020 as growth in sales of detachable tablets will be sufficiently high to counter declines in slate tablet sales.
“The transition to detachables is inevitable, but slate tablets will remain relevant as highlighted by recent results from Amazon with its Kindle Fire portfolio,” commented Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC tablets research director.