2020 was a great year for tablet makers and tablet sales, but 2021 won’t be the same. The latest reports and studies show that tablet shipments in Q1 2021 are expected to decline by 31% worldwide. Especially shipments of large screen devices will suffer.
The info comes from a Digitimes Research report, highlighting the current trends of the tablet market. According to the source, global tablet shipments climbed to a 13 quarter high during the last quarter of 2020. They reached 51.56 million units, but that number will drop by 31% during the first quarter of the year. Shipments of tablets in 2020 rose by 17.6% sequentially in Q4 2020 and by 19.3% annually year on year. This was backed by a growing demand for large screen devices for online education and remote work on account of the pandemic.
As the demand for tablets grew and grew, a variety of vendors also raised the component orders and the year 2021 is already plagued by component (especially chip) shortages. This may affect the supply chain for the first half of 2021. Apple itself bumped up the whole segment by launching the 10.2 inch iPad, which increased tablet shipments during the final quarter of last year. The early 2021 decrease is also traditional, since numbers always drop in January-March.
Also, coming off a record year with 159.76 million units shipped it’s hard to maintain growth of even a plateau of sales. The market is also pretty saturated with tablets by now and replacement cycles are long for these devices. Supply shortages may be solved before the second half of 2021.