Tablets Fall, but Detachables Are Bright Spot

Tablet shipments worldwide will decline 8.1% YoY in 2015, says IDC, totalling 211.3 million units. This forecast was made after three consecutive quarters of declining global shipments. However, despite the challenges facing the overall market, IDC expects the detachable segment to continue to perform well.

As well as more users desiring devices that will boost their productivity, vendors are also offering more detachable form factors today. All major platform vendors – Apple, Google and Microsoft – are now producing physical hardware in the detachable category. Platform innovation is being driven by competition; combined with some sub-$100 price points, IDC expects the detachables market to almost double in size next year, recording more than 75% growth.

A move towards detachable products supports two other key trends: the growth of Windows and a turnaround for Apple’s iPad lineup. Windows-based tablets (both slates and detachables) are expected to more than double their market share by 2019, driven by both traditional PC OEMs and household smartphone vendors. As for Apple, early reviews of the iPad Pro have been mixed; however, IDC believes that the product will be the only reason for Apple to gain tablet market share in the coming years, as the company targets enterprise and prosumer customers.

Worldwide Tablet Market Share by Screen Size
Screen Size 2014 2015 (F) 2019 (F)
Small (7″ – <9″) 64.1% 57.7% 43.0%
Medium (9″ – <13″) 35.8% 41.9% 55.1%
Large (13″ – <16″) 0.1% 0.4% 2.0%
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Source: IDC