We’ve written about the status of the tablet market a while ago and it didn’t look good for 2018. The global tablet shipments are now expected to drop by 4.3% year on year in 2018, compared to 2017. The numbers thrown around are 145.5 million units and the shipments of entry level devices are expected to grow weaker.

The reason is that the smart speakers and large screen phones are growing. Also, currency rates are eating into the segment and profits for the device makers. The info comes from TrendForce, who also reminds us that 5G is coming and while the tablets have something to look forward to, the present isn’t impressive. The biggest ambitions in the segment are the ones coming from Google and Huawei.

Huawei is now third in the tablet segment, with the fastest growth. Their shipments have grown by over 30% compared to last year. TrendForce also forecasts that the global tablet shipments will be at 139.6 million units, a year on year decline of 4%. Big and small brands will be forced to drop prices to entice customers, but the life cycle of products can’t be changed.

The market is saturated and has been since 2014. The biggest switch in the segment is the fact that Huawei replaced Amazon as the third largest tablet maker. Amazon and Apple has conservative shipment predictions for this year. Apple remains the market leader, also thanks to the new iPad Pro models, anticipating a huge holiday season. The large screen iPhone XS Max may still eat into those sales.

TrendForce expects the iPad shipments to fall by 2% year on year, reaching just 43 million units in 2018. It’s weird to see firms like Acer, ASUS, HP, maybe even Lenovo staying put and not investing in tablets anymore.