Global tablet shipments are estimated to drop 11.8% on year to reach 244 million units in 2015 as demand for high-end and entry-level tablets has both become saturated, while large-size smartphones and inexpensive notebooks are gradually taking demand away from the device, according to Digitimes Research's latest Special Report about the tablet industry.
The 7-inch tablet segment is expected to see its shipment share drop from 51.3% in 2014 to 44.3% in 2015. Both the iPad mini series and 7-inch Wi-Fi-based entry-level Android tablets will see declining demand in 2015 and among the Android-based tablets, white-box models will see a worse drop than devices from brand vendors.
As for other tablet sizes, the 10-inch and above segment is estimated to enjoy an on-year shipment growth of 20% in 2015 as vendors start seeking opportunities from the enterprise and specific industrial applications.
Digitimes Research's Special Report on the global tablet industry estimates that iOS and Android will both see their shipment shares decline in 2015. Although Apple's 12.85-inch iPad will boost iOS' share in 2015, the growth will not be sufficient to offset the declines of the iPad and iPad mini.
iOS-based tablet shipments are estimated to reach only 49.9 million units.
Windows-based tablets will see a close to 50% on-year shipment growth in 2015 thanks to increasing shipments for high-end Intel Core M-based 2-in-1 devices, branded inexpensive tablets and high-price/performance-ratio white-box models.
Digitimes Research believes that although Intel's mobile business has started devoting more efforts to smartphones, acquiring a firm position in the tablet industry is still the priority of the company and with help from products such as SoFIA and Core M series, Intel-based tablet shipments are expected to grow 50% on year to reach 40 million units in 2015.