Global tablet shipments fall double digits for the first time ever

The demise of the tablet seems inevitable, as shipments percentage dropped in double digits for the first time ever. Market intelligence provider TrendForce reported that in 2015, a total of 168.5 million units were shipped, representing a 12.2 per cent drop year-on-year.

Notebook analyst for TrendForce, Anita Wang, confirmed what we all already knew – smartphones, phablets and 2-in-1 devices were interfering too much with the tablet market, and with the devices having a somewhat longer lifespan, the results are a decrease in new shipments.

“The saturation of the tablet market, the long life cycles of tablets themselves and the abundance of substitute devices were major factors that contributed to the large shipment decline,” said Anita Wang. “Tablets were challenged by many large and small devices during 2015, from smartphones sized 5 inches and above to 2-in-1 PCs. Their demand diminished as a result.”

Looking at the top players in the tablet industry, not much has changed – Apple is still the number one brand, with its iPad series. But those who fly high are the ones to hit the ground hardest, and Apple has felt it with a drop in shipments of 22 per cent, from 63.4 million units in 2014 to 49.6 million in 2015.

Samsung’s tablet shipments fell 18 per cent annually to 33.5 million units, and its market share fell by just 1.5 per cent over the year to 19.9 per cent.

Even though it failed to make the top five, Microsoft is an honourable mention – its tablet shipments grew 50 per cent annually, thanks to its Surface Pro 4 tablet.