Tablet sales plateau as phablet demand strengthens

by: Robert TriggsJuly 13, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-6

Tablet sales have been predicted to slow for some time, but the latest data from Forrester Research suggests that sales have finally hit a plateau. It seems that consumers might be falling out of love with the little portable computers.

Following a sharp rise to popularity over the past few years, growth expected to decline to less than 50 million units over the next four years. This plateau can apparently be attributed to a number of factors. Forrester suggests that a combination of market saturation, falling prices and the rise of phablet smartphones are to blame.

Forrester Research tablet shipments

Apparently the growth in 5-inch and larger display smartphones has made an impact on tablet sales, as consumers look for substitute devices that can fulfill both rolls. The data states that 41 percent of workers use a 5-inch or larger smartphone and 11 percent of respondents using a tablet indicated that they were in fact using a larger smartphone to meet their tablet needs.

To makes its case, Forrester points out that 4.5 million Galaxy Note 4 units were shifted in its first month, while Samsung’s tablet sales fell by 5 percent in Q2.

The market is also full of sub $200 products that offer consumers everything they need for their tablet experience. Enough processing power for web browsing, checking up on social media and watching the occasional video doesn’t have to come in an expensive package

Furthermore, there have been few must have new tablet features to drive strong sales of devices in the $500 price bracket. Combined with the growth in larger handsets, consumer tablet refresh cycles are substantially slower than that of smartphones.

IDC Tablet Shippments Q1 2015

IDC Research suggests that Q1 tablet shipments fell compared with last year

The report does point out one remaining avenue of growth in the tablet market – business. Forrester’s data indicates that around 29 percent of businesses provide tablets for use at work. Lenovo has apparently already been one of the winners from this trend, as it has focused on providing productivity solutions and larger displays suitable for work purposes.

Of course, a slowdown in sales doesn’t indicate that consumers are dumping their tablets, just that many are quite happy with what they already own. The global tablet install base is expected to rise to a substantial 800 million consumers by 2018 and should reach 1 billion sometime after 2020.

  • monkey god

    With the Sony Z4 tablet not coming to the US, the Samsung Tab S 2 can’t come soon enough for me. Where have all the flagship fullsize tablets gone? The Nexus 9 was the only US release of a fullsize flagship tablet to come out in the last year.

  • Bob

    Very true

  • TerrenceACaraballo

    Lates Quality performance .androidauthority.. <…. Find Here

  • Siralf

    I don’t see the mystery with this recurrent statistics concerning tablets, most people have already purchased one and they offer very little more with each iteration, so simply what Forrester said, market saturation. If something I am surprised they still sell so many and the annual demand is increasing

  • Derpdiddly

    What fuckwit spends $700 on the smartphone of the week, and then ALSO buys a $500+ tablet? Manufacturers complete lack of common sense or practicality killed the tablet. When a tablet was half the cost of a real PC, and a phone was 1/2 the performance, tablets were great. But now these shitbags think you should buy one of everything, and they should ALL cost up to $1000 each!

    I looked at tablets in a retailer recently – they sell no-name chinese garbage that will barely browse the web for under $100, and everything else they carry costs more than a real Windows PC does!