The tablet market is set to shrink over the next five years, according to ABI Research, which has forecast a fall from 207 million shipments in 2015 to below 140 million in 2021.ABI notes of a general decline in the market over the past two years that demand for branded tablets in advanced market economies is decreasing due to factors including “saturation, slow replacement cycles, greater influence of business purchases and substitution”.
Meanwhile, China and other Asian markets are seeing a decreased demand for white box tablets due to shifts to branded tablets, along with a reliance on smartphones and phablets.
“China is evolving, moving away from white box products to support local and global brand manufacturers,” Jeff Orr, ABI research director, commented.
“As this behaviour continues across other markets in South East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, the potential for white box tablets to remain viable will all but go away.”
Looking ahead, ABI expects tablet shipments to undergo a shift in market dynamic as major advanced economies take a back seat in shipment totals.
“The major advanced economies of the world represented close to 63 per cent of branded tablet shipments in 2015,” Orr stated.
“This will soon flip. We predict that by 2021 57 per cent of branded tablet shipments will come from emerging and developing economies.”
ABI has forecast that branded tablets will comprise 70.6 per cent of global shipments this year and white box tablets 29.4 per cent, with branded tablets growing to 88.5 per cent in 2021 and white box tablets declining to 11.5 per cent.