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.