Tablets Set to Return to Growth in 2018 Driven by Emergence of Detachables and Ongoing Need for Slates, According to IDC

Prague / Framingham, Mass., (PresseBox) - Worldwide tablet shipments are expected to decline for the second straight year in 2016, dropping 9.6% compared to 2015 volumes, according to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker forecast. The tablet market in totality has seen its peak and will face down years in 2016 and 2017, followed by a slight rebound in 2018 and beyond driven by detachable tablet growth. Right now the detachable category only accounts for 16% of the market and IDC expects it to reach 31% in 2020.

Tablet life cycles have proven to be more like PCs a few years back, which is likely to be somewhere around four years. Tablet manufacturers, both large and small, are slowly shifting focus toward the detachable tablet market segment, which has quickly resulted in increased product offerings, lower average selling prices (ASPs), and broadened consumer awareness for the category. Many traditional PC manufacturers have assumed the detachable category to be a natural extension of the PC market and perhaps assumed it would rightfully be theirs to capture. Now they find themselves in head-to-head competition with a slew of new manufacturers that have created their market off of smartphone and slate tablet growth. This brings new channel dynamics and lower prices to a brand new category with an abundance of upside.

"The detachable tablet segment is also considered by some manufacturers, like Apple, as a way to spur replacement cycles of the existing slate tablet installed base," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, research director, Tablets. "One reason why the slate tablet market is experiencing a decline is because end-users don't have a good enough reason to replace them, and that's why productivity-centric devices like detachable tablets are considered replacement devices for high-end larger slate tablets."

Despite all of the negativity around slates, most of which is driven by the forecasted negative year-over-year growth, IDC still expects well over 100 million slates to ship annually through 2020. The main driver for this is the low cost associated with smaller screen slate devices. Slate tablets with screen sizes less than 9 inches had an average selling price of $183 in 2015 and IDC expects this to decline to $157 in 2020. Despite the small screen and typically lower configurations, for many this still provides a fairly decent computing experience. Especially within emerging markets.

"It wasn’t long ago the industry talked about one PC per person and to some extent that theory has vanished," said Ryan Reith, Program Vice President with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "I'd rather look at it and say the PC we were referencing six to eight years ago has changed, drastically. In many emerging markets the only computing device for many will be a mobile device, whether that is a small screen tablet, smartphone, or both. This is the main reason why, despite all the hype that the detachable category receives, we believe cheaper slate tablets fill an important void."

This chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic are available by clicking here.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing slate and detachable market share for emerging and developed regions in 2015 and 2020 is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on

Taxonomy Note: Total tablet market includes slate tablets plus detachable tablets. References to "tablets" in this release include both slate tablets and detachable devices.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad. The IDC Tracker Chart app is also available for Android Phones and Android Tablets.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

Website Promotion

IDC Central Europe GmbH

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

Press releases you might also be interested in

Subscribe for news

The subscribtion service of the PresseBox informs you about press information of a certain topic by your choice at a choosen time. Please enter your email address to receive the email with the press releases.

An error occurred!

Thank you! You will receive a confirmation email within a few minutes.

I want to subscribe to the gratis press mail and have read and accepted the conditions.