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Worldwide Tablet Market Forecast to Rebound in 2018 as Detachables Gain Traction in Both Mature and Emerging Markets

Worldwide tablet shipments are expected to decline by 12% in 2016, rounding out the year at 182.3 million shipments, according to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. IDC expects the market to rebound in 2018 though growth will remain in the low single digits as detachable tablets slowly gain traction.

"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," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "This is a welcome change for vendors as average selling prices for notebooks and tablets are expected to increase in the near term."

From a geographic perspective, emerging markets will continue to decline until 2018 and then growth will flatten out in the following two years. Although these markets are forecast to show growth in the detachable segment, the disproportionate decline in slate tablets ensures no growth until 2020. Meanwhile, mature markets will experience positive single-digit growth until 2020 as the decline in slate tablets is offset by the growth in detachable tablets.

"The transition to detachables is inevitable, but slate tablets will remain relevant as highlighted by recent results from Amazon with its Kindle Fire portfolio," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets at IDC. "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."

 
Worldwide Tablet Share Forecast by Screen Size, 2015 - 2020
Screen Size       2015       2016 Forecast       2020 Forecast
Small (7”<9”)       59.9%       56.4%       39.7%
Medium (9”<13”)       39.8%       43.1%       58.2%
Large (13”<16”)       0.3%       0.5%       2.1%
Total       100.0%       100.0%       100.0%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, December 1, 2016

Notes:

  • Total tablet market includes slate tablets plus detachable tablets. References to "tablets" in this release include both slate tablets and detachable devices.
  • Mature Markets include U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and Canada. Emerging Markets include Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Middle East, and Africa (MEA).

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide shipments and year-over-year growth for the 2015-2020 forecast period is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

About IDC Trackers
IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad. The IDC Tracker Chart app is also available for Android Phones and Android Tablets.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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