Global tablet shipments are expected to decline every year until 2022 as consumers show a preference for smartphones as their primary mobile device, Canalys predicted.
“Despite a recent rise in iPad shipments, the tablet category remains in decline,” the company said, adding it expects tablet shipments “to contract by almost 3 per cent per year on average from 2017 to 2022, down almost 150 million units from the market peak in 2014.”
Canalys analyst Robin Ody explained tablets are now moving in a commercial direction as their portability is “a solid value proposition to important verticals, such as education, healthcare and retail.”
Often, these devices are locked to a single application for a specific business function, such as point of sale. Corporate resellers are also pitching tablets to businesses as part of workforce transformation initiatives.
However, they represent a very small proportion of the commercial PC market, as IT managers still face challenges including price, the number of ports and the prospect of managing an ecosystem of multiple operating systems, he stated.
Combined worldwide tablet and PC shipments will fall by 2.1 per cent to 398 million units in 2018, which Canalys said “represents the smallest decline of the past four years and sets the tone for an era of stability.”