Though the tablet market is finally perking up again after two years of decline, shipment growth isn’t expected until 2018, new forecasts from Strategy Analytics and International Data Corporation (IDC) said.
According to Strategy Analytics, dropping prices on detachable 2-in-1 tablets are helping fuel a bump in demand as consumers recognize the device’s utility for both entertainment and productivity. But both reports indicated the tablet market isn’t expected to return to growth until 2018.
Strategy Analytics forecasted global tablet shipments will drop from 205.8 million in 2016 to 203.5 million in 2017, before rebounding to hit 223.5 in 2020. That prediction included projections that shipments would grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 percent from 2016 to 2020, with 2-in-1s, Windows Tablets, and enterprise sales leading market growth.
IDC similarly indicated worldwide tablet shipments are expected to drop by 12 percent this year to 182.3 million units before making a comeback with low single-digit growth in 2018. Like Strategy Analytics, IDC said 2-in-1s (also known as detachables) will be a driver of that growth, though slate tablets will remain dominant.
“The transition to detachables is inevitable, but slate tablets will remain relevant as highlighted by recent results from Amazon with its Kindle Fire portfolio,” IDC Tablets Research Director Jean Philippe Bouchard said. “Fueled by ultra low-end prices and a growing ecosystem play involving the Internet of Things, slate tablets will still account for more than twice the volume of the detachable segment with 124 million units forecast to be shipped in 2020.”
Strategy Analytics said it sees Android tablets losing shipment market share primarily to Windows devices, but with additional losses to Apple. From 2016 to 2020, Strategy Analytics said Windows is expected to grow its tablet shipment share from 15 percent to 20 percent, while Apple will get a more modest boost from 22 percent to 24 percent and Android will drop from 63 percent to 57 percent.