International Data Corporation (IDC) has come up with a forecast which states that worldwide tablet shipments are expected to decline by 12% in 2016. A total of 182.3 million tablets would be shipped by year end with the growth hitting an all-time low of -11.5 percent this year.
However the market is expected to make a comeback in 2018 and the growth will continue till 2020 though growth will remain in single digits only. The reason being that the detachable tablets will slowly gain traction. A total of 194.2 million units are expected to be shipped during that time.
Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers said in a statement: “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. This is a welcome change for vendors as average selling prices for notebooks and tablets are expected to increase in the near term.”
Also larger tablets are expected to dominate the market while snagging a considerable percentage of share from smaller tablets. Shipments of devices with 9 inches or smaller are expected to drop from 55 percent of all tablets in 2015 to just 40 percent of all tablets in 2020.
IDC research director Jean Philippe Bouchard said: "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."
Android-based tablets are expected to continue to dominate, but will lose some share to Windows-based devices through 2020. Over the next few years, Android tablets will drop from 66.2 percent of the market share to 57.8 percent, while iOS devices will remain steady around 22 or 23 percent. Windows devices are expected to gain share to move from 11.3 percent in 2016 to 19.3 percent share in 2020.