Due to falling demand and consumers prioritizing other purchases, worldwide tablet shipments fell 17.4% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a tablet forecast from International Data Corporation.

Fourth quarter shipments totaled 36.8 million units, with the 17.4% drop the worst since 2016. Not only that, for the calendar year, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 128.5 million units, a decline of 20.5% compared to 2022 and the lowest annual volume since 2011.

“2024 is expected to show some rebound opportunities, provided the year is more economically sound,” said Anuroopa Nataraj, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, in a prepared statement.

“However, overall challenges remain in the tablet market, and technological advances around AI will likely focus more on the PC and smartphone for the next two years, but tablets will increasingly become part of that conversation.”

Tablet Forecast

Apple dominated fourth quarter shipments, even though its total was down more than 29% from the fourth quarter of 2023. Apple’s yearly shipments dropped 19.8%. but the company was still the market leader, with 37% of the total market.

Samsung had the next spot behind Apple, while Xiaomi and Huawei had shipments increase during the fourth quarter – 35.0% and 21.2% respectively. IDC credited Xiaomi’s aggressive marketing and expanding footprint worldwide for enabling Xiaomi to displace Amazon from the top 5 in the quarter.

The decrease in tablet shipments continues a trend of the last few quarters, according to IDC.

“With no significant improvements to the economy and consumers allocating their money to things beyond consumer electronics, tablets may not be very high on the priority list. Project delays and spending freezes have also led to purchase postponement through much of 2023,” said Nataraj in the prepared statement.

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