The global tablet shipments are expected to decline 4.3% YoY in 2018 to 145.5 million units, as the shipments of entry-level devices are on pace to grow weaker due to the rise of smart speakers and unfavorable currency exchange rates, according to TrendForce.
“With the launch of new devices in the coming era of 5G, the tablet category will still help the brands build a strategic future, retaining their customer bases and becoming more influential in the global IoT network,” says Kou-Han Tseng, TrendForce notebook analyst. Therefore, major brands will not give up their tablet product lines, even at the expense of downsizing their entry-level product ranges. Particularly, Google continues the ambitions about its tablet business and Huawei expands fast in this segment, whose growth momentum jointly remains key to the overall performance of the tablet market. For 2019, TrendForce forecasts the global tablet shipments at 139.6 million units, a YoY decline of 4%.
Huawei’s tablet shipments rise by over 30%, Apple’s growth momentum grows conservative
Amid the overall decline of tablet sales worldwide, brands tend to offer lower prices to retain customers and invest less in new tablet development. In contrast, Huawei appears to be rather positive in developing new mobile devices, including both smartphones and tablets. Huawei’s shipments of tablets for 2018 are expected to rise by over 30% to more than 14 million units, with a market share of 9.8%, 2.6 percentage points up from last year. The impressive shipments will also enable Huawei to become the 3rd largest tablet manufacturer this year, surpassing Amazon.
Amazon’s growth momentum for tablet grows conservative as the brand shifts some focus to its smart speaker business. The company expects a fall in its annual tablet shipments for 2018, although it has been adjusting its product portfolio faster and increasing the share of its 8-inch and larger products. After three years of strong growth, Amazon is expected to record a more conservative shipment of 13.4 million units this year, a YoY decline of 1%.
The leading tablet maker Apple has revealed its new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models ahead of the coming holiday sales in Europe and the U.S. However, its launch not long after new iPhones and the premium price tags, 25% higher than its ancestors, may prevent the new iPad series from achieving mass market success. As the result, TrendForce expects the iPad shipment to fall by 2% YoY, recording 43 million units for 2018.