IDC predicted that growth would not return to the global tablets market until 2018, with the market expected to continue its decline in the coming months.
The research company said the market’s year-on-year decline is expected to reach an all-time low of 11.5 per cent in 2016, with shipments of 183.4 million units. The market will then see a turnaround in 2018, with growth expected to continue until 2020 when shipments will reach 194.2 million units.
The overall market is now being fuelled by the continuing demand for detachable tablets, which are taking market share from more traditional PCs, according to IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani.
“Windows and iOS already have solid detachable offerings and with the latest version of Android, Google will also have a horse in the race as they finally offer better multitasking support and added security features,” Ubrani said.
However, the more traditional slate form factor will still account for the majority of shipments until 2020. In 2016, 85 per cent of all tablets shipped will be slate tablets, although this will decrease to 68 per cent by 2020.
IDC commented that most of these devices would be destined for emerging markets, where consumers seek out any low-cost computing device.
Another trend is a growing preference for larger tablets, primarily because of the demand for detachable tablets that come with a separate keyboard.
IDC research director Jean Philippe Bouchard noted that although 55 per cent of all tablets will be nine inches or smaller in 2016, by 2020 this share is forecast to drop to 40 per cent.
“We see smaller slate tablets being offered at very aggressive price points, leaving little room for revenues outside of a pure volume or platform play like for Amazon for instance. The price pressure combined with a healthier demand on larger screen sizes and detachable tablets will eventually result in an increased portfolio offering from tablet and PC manufacturers,” said Bouchard.
In terms of the different operating systems, the increased demand for detachables is also expected to help boost the overall market share of Windows-based devices, while sales of Apple iPads will also improve.
The share of Windows tablets is expected to improve from 11.3 per cent in 2016 to 19.3 per cent by 2020, while the share of Apple iOS devices will improve slightly from 22.4 per cent in 2016 to 22.9 per cent in 2020. In contrast, Android’s share will shrink from 66.2 per cent in 2016 to 57.8 per cent in 2020.
- see the IDC release
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