Bleak future predicted for global tablet sales through 2024 in new market research

Bleak future predicted for global tablet sales through 2024 in new market research
Unlike the global smartphone market, which has been hurting for the past couple of years but is widely expected to bounce back in 2020 and beyond, the tablet industry is struggling for more than a little while now and there's no rebound in sight. In fact, there might not be much of an industry left soon enough, as Digitimes Research predicts worldwide sales numbers will continue to decline sequentially every single year for at least the next half a decade.

The bleak forecast calls for tablet shipments to fall under the 130 million unit mark for the first time next year, followed by small drops of 2 or 3 percent every year that are likely to push the global total below 120 million by 2024. Curiously enough, Digitimes doesn't have an exact 2019 projection to share, simply claiming sales are bound to "slip dramatically" this year compared to 2018's already modest tally.

That's hardly surprising given that Q1 shipments reportedly took a hit of almost 9 percent compared to the same timeframe last year, while Q2 2019 figures were down by exactly 5 percent from 2018's April - June period. Interestingly, Apple's market-leading iPads are predicted to receive upgrades less "keenly" than "before", which feels like an odd prophecy to make after an onslaught of non-Pro releases this year.

Apparently, the general feeling is that "iPads' price cuts are only having limited effect on stimulating demand", which might prompt Apple to release fewer new models going forward. While we're on the subject of individual manufacturers, we should point out Microsoft is expected to defy the overall market decline and boost its Windows-powered tablet shipments "exponentially" in 2019 and beyond, helping the company inch closer and closer to Lenovo's number five spot in the global vendor rankings.

No words on what to expect from Samsung, Huawei, and Amazon, which are currently the second, third, and fourth-largest tablet manufacturers in the world, so we'll just assume their figures will follow industry trends and shrink by a small but notable margin every year.

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14 Comments

1. surethom

Posts: 1715; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

No surprise as Tablets last around 3 to 6 years before needing an upgrade, but as long as Samsung & Apple keep releasing new tablets every year, im happy.

5. TheOracle1

Posts: 2330; Member since: May 04, 2015

I agree. I still have my two tablets from 2014 and 2015. I'm about to upgrade and won't get another one for another 4-5 years probably.

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

By 2024 foldables will be in full swing. No need for a tablet at that timeframe. Plus AR/VR will be gaining lots of ground by then as well. When 2024 comes around, tablets will be on the way out. They are useless for AR.

8. whatev

Posts: 2319; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

You are still trying with VR, it’s so hilarious and heart warming at the same time *sigh

2. gadgetpower

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

Not surprised that there’s no expectations form other tablets because there is no competition in tablet, ipad slays them all.

6. TheOracle1

Posts: 2330; Member since: May 04, 2015

They do but they're also overpriced just like all Apple products. They also run different apps to the iPhone which is yet another Apple nickle and dime move.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

By 2024 all tablets will be on the way out, by a country mile. They are good as a tablet. They are useless for AR or pocketability. Foldables will be in full swing by that timeframe. Plus AR/VR glasses will be way more prolific by that timeframe. Not to mention resolutions an mobile processors will be even more powerful by that timeframe. I can easily see 16 core or more SoCs with GPUs that have 1024 cores or more. Smartphones or foldables with have 16 GB of RAM or more, plus 2 terabytes of storage. With mobile SoCs like that, then they can handle much higher resolution AR/VR displays, with a lot more cameras. Listen if the Oculus Quest can do 6 degrees of freedom, with two hand controllers, and process hand and finger movements as well. Plus that is with a Snapdragon 835 SoC for $400. Your going to see much better than that in over 4 years from now.

12. midan

Posts: 2982; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Mobile VR is dead and been since launch

10. gadgetpower

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 23, 2019

A device that can be use after 6 more years is overpriced?

13. RoryBreaker

Posts: 235; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

"ipad slays them all" NOT EVEN CLOSE! My Samsung Tab S4 is a beast, Windows Surface also a great device. ipad has made improvements but nowhere near slayage!

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 417; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

So will foldable PC's be considered a tablet like surface neo? If so I can see tablets taking off.

4. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1079; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

I feel like it was only a matter of time until Tablets faded away. Especially with the expansion of 2-in-one Laptops like the Surface Pro and the slowly expanding market for Foldables. So now consumers can have a fully-functioning Windows device which doubles as a tablet or a Smartphone that can transform into a Tablet

11. mackan84

Posts: 547; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

So is a foldable tablet a foldable or a tablet in the future?

14. deleon629

Posts: 467; Member since: Oct 04, 2014

This projection is made every two years +/-, but analysts never make mention of the impact that enterprise and education has versus the attempt at 'wow'ing everyday consumers

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