Digitimes Research said that despite the global tablet market having remained sluggish for years, a market consolidation in 2017 meant that the annual decline in global tablet shipments only narrowed to five percent.
In 2018, the tablet market will see growth momentum effectively driven by double digit increases in shipments from such brand vendors as Amazon and Huawei, Microsoft's launch of its new Surface models in the first half of the year, and Google's return to the tablet market with new education devices.
A fierce war among brand vendors is expected to put global tablet shipments back to a growth track in the coming year, the sources said.
By offering tablets at super-low prices to consumers to enhance its e-commerce service ecosystem, Amazon expects shipments of its Kindle Fire tablets to reach a record high of 12-13 million units in 2017, and a shipment growth of 10 percent in 2018.
Huawei expects its tablet shipments to soar to over 10 million units in 2017, likely to exceed the shipment volume of Lenovo for the first time ever. The company has projected a sharp tablet shipment growth at 50 percent for 2018.
Apple is expected to maintain its leading position in the global tablet market. The company plans to intensify its pricing strategy for the new iPads in 2018 to trigger a replacement spree to customers holding onto old models.