Global tablet shipments will bounce back 16.3% sequentially to reach nearly 47 million units in the third quarter, but the volume will still be down over 10% compared to the same quarter a year ago, showing the market is still in no condition of recovering, according to Digitimes Research.
The sequential shipment growth is attributed to vendors' inventory build-ups for the year-end holidays in Europe and North America and the fact that several emerging markets have seen improved economies, which has increased tablet demand, Digitimes Research said.
Despite the absence of new models for the second half of 2016, Apple will see its tablet shipment dip only slightly on year to 9.5 million units in the third quarter thanks to steady demand for 9.7-inch iPad Pro. However, shipments by white-box tablet makers are expected to increase significantly to 18.5 million units in the third quarter on growing shipments to retail shops in the US and Europe and an easing in the supply of some key parts and components.
While non-Apple tablet vendors will benefit from inventory build-ups in the third quarter, most brands still remain conservative about their business outlook. Among them, Samsung Electronics will see its shipment momentum fade during the peak season as its new entry-level and mid-range models will face increasing competition from China brands.
Lenovo may temporarily outperform Amazon to take the third position in third-quarter rankings, but its tablet business unit has decided to shift its focus to Chromebooks and other Android devices. Amazon will see its shipments decline in the third quarter due to product shifts in the quarter.
Shipments of tablets from Taiwan-based ODMs are expected to drop to a new low level in the third quarter due to decreased orders from Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, Digitimes Research noted.