Worldwide tablet and PC shipments will fall by 2.1% in 2018

The tablet category remains in decline as consumers show a preference for smartphones as their primary mobile devices and rely on traditional PCs for more compute-intensive tasks.

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According to a report by research firm Canalys, worldwide tablet and PC shipments will fall by 2.1 percent to 398 million units in 2018.

Worldwide tablet and PC shipments will fall by 2.1% in 2018

 

It said that consumer refresh cycles have finally started to stabilize, and the largest PC vendors have focused on new, fast-growing categories, such as gaming PCs, Chromebooks, and convertibles.

While on the commercial side, Windows 10 migration remains a driver for a hardware refresh, as businesses are forced to move from Intel Skylake-generation microarchitectures to newer processor technologies.

"Commercial customers will be a vital driver for PC shipments in 2018," said Canalys Research Analyst Ishan Dutt.

The research firm pointed out that dedicated gaming PCs have emerged as a genuine hotspot in large markets, such as the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, where eSports has helped to generate an appetite among younger consumers with disposable incomes who are willing to spend top prices for high performance.

The consumer market is also more likely to see new brands challenging the likes of HP, Lenovo, and Dell.

Huawei and Xiaomi are already attempting to disrupt selected markets, but neither yet has a range of products or channel partners to trouble the incumbents.

It said despite a recent rise in iPad shipments, the tablet category remains in decline as consumers show a preference for smartphones as their primary mobile devices and rely on traditional PCs for more compute-intensive tasks.

The category is expected to contract by almost 3 percent per year on average from 2017 to 2022, down almost 150 million units from the market peak in 2014.

"The connectivity, portability and display size of cheaper slate tablets deliver a solid value proposition to important verticals, such as education, healthcare, and retail," said Canalys Analyst Robin Ody.

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