After declining 7.7% from a quarter ago in the fourth quarter of 2022, global tablet shipments are expected to plunge a double-digit percentage sequentially to fall beneath 30 million units, the lowest quarterly level since the second quarter of 2020, according to DIGITIMES Research's latest report covering global tablet shipments.
Fourth-quarter 2022 global tablet shipments suffered a decline from the prior quarter as consumers tightened their spending on non-essentials amid the weakening economy, rising inflation and high interest rates.
Although tablet brands have been launching promotions to attract sales, their frequent promotion campaigns have created a diminished effect on consumer demand. Their fourth-quarter 2022 shipments paled in comparison to the high-season levels seen in years past.
The new iPads Apple introduced for the year-end holiday season only came with limited hardware upgrades, resulting in their shipments coming short of the expectation. Apple's fourth-quarter 2022 shipments only rose 1.9% sequentially while the volumes shipped by the non-Apple camp fell more than 10% from a quarter ago with shrinking market demand, the report's figures show.
Apple has lowered its production forecast for the coming quarter, while non-Apple brands such as Amazon and Lenovo have also cut their orders to OEMs for first-quarter 2023.
The combined share of 10.x-inch and larger tablets grew to account for over 90% of the global volumes in the fourth quarter of 2022. Among the volumes of 10.x-inch and larger tablets, around 30% were 11.x-inch and larger models, contributed primarily by the launch of Apple's new iPad Pros and growing shipments of Xiaomi's Pad 5. The combined share of 10.x-inch and larger tablets is expected to remain at around 90% in first-quarter 2023.
As Amazon's tablet shipments declined and the US-based brand lowered the ratio of tablets produced by Taiwan-based OEMs, the share of shipments of tablets manufactured by Taiwan-based OEMs fell to 35% in fourth-quarter 2022 and is expected to stay at about the same going into first-quarter 2023 as Apple's and Amazon's tablet shipments will continue to experience a sequential decline.