ABI Research’s studies are showing that the global installed base of tablets will drop next year, as shipments of larger slates decline. The tablets have had a good run in their initial burst years, 2010 and 2011, on both iOS and Android segments.


Both types of devices were used very actively for 3 to 4 years. However, the latest ABI Research predictions show that the popularity is fading away, with the installed base of tablets decreasing for the first time in 2016, as the growth changes from first time buyers to people seeking replacement devices. The global installed base of branded slates is expected to peak at around 373 million units at the end of the current year, claims Research Director Jeff Orr.

North America leads the pack, with 48% of the installed base and Android has 50% of that. 42% goes to iOS, apparently. As replacements happen, we discover people are ready to replace a slate with a phablet now, or with a 2 in 1 ultraportable PC for example. Of course, most of them will replace tablets with newer tablets, probably staying faithful to the original OS choice, since they can port their accounts more easily like that.

It will be interesting to see how the iPad Pro affects these gloomy predictions…