Shipments of white-box tablets are expected to reach 39 million units in the second half of 2016, a 30% increase compared to those shipped in the first half of the year, buoyed by an easing in component supplies and pricing, as well as an expected pick-up in demand from the US and Europe, according to Digitimes Research.
However, shipments of white-box tablets in the second half of 2016 will still represent a decrease of 6.3% from a year earlier period, the smallest range of on-year decline for the period since 2014. This is likely to signal an end to the retrenchment in shipment and an easing of price competition due to a concentration of the white-box tablet makers, allowing the industry to swing back to a healthy development track, Digitimes Research asserted.
The shortages in the supply of panels will be eased at the end of the third quarter thanks to increased supplies, and price hikes for memory products will also become milder in the second half of the year due to capacity ramps by memory device makers.
Demand for Wi-Fi-only tablets from the mature markets in the US and Europe will increase significantly in the second half due to peak-season effects, while demand from the Southeast Asia region will remain steady. Orders from South America are expected to rebound slightly due to short-term economic factors stirred by 2016 Rio Olympics.
In terms of product sizes, the share of 7-inch tablets will rebound to 54% in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to seasonal demand. However, the shares held by 8- and 10-inch models will also increase proportionally.
As for tablet application processors (APs), the share of MediaTek's APs is expected to drop to 45% in the second half of 2016 due to keen competition from Spreadtrum Communications and increased seasonal demand for Wi-Fi-only tablets. Intel will see its share climb to over 16% in the second half amid its efforts to clear out inventories of SoFIA chips, Digitimes Research said.