Notebooks might survive 2016, tablets will have a hard time

Notebooks still have a straw to hold on to, while tablets seem to have broken theirs and continue to sink, according to a forecast by global market research firm TrendForce.

TrendForce says total notebook shipments will drop 6.4 per cent for 2015, to about 164.4 million units. The company’s analyst Anita Wang believes shipments will recover in 2016, mostly because of branded vendors, such as Xiaomi and Huawei entering the market.

“We estimate that total notebook shipments for 2016 will increase a little by 1 per cent year on year to 165 million units,” she said.

On the other hand, tablets continue to sink. The devices which are still limited to browsing and entertainment, have very little to offer in terms of functionality, and are thus being replaced by smartphones, which grow in size with each passing year.

TrendForce has lowered its tablet shipment forecast for 2015 to 163.4 million units, representing a year-on-year decline of 14.9 per cent. “Our estimation indicates that a total of 153.4 million tablets will be shipped in 2016, down 6.1% year on year.”

The share of 7-inch models in the global tablet market has contracted from 57 per cent in 2014 to the estimated 50 per cent this year. With large smartphones moving into their territory, tablet vendors in response have rolled out products of even larger sizes with the intention of expanding into the notebook market. TrendForce projects that tablets sized 10 inches and above will account for almost 30 per cent of the global tablet market in 2016, a significant increase from the estimated 18 per cent of this year. The two things driving most of the sales will be narrow bezel design and a full-HD resolution.