Even as the smartphone industry continues its growth trajectory because of strong demand from emerging economies, the state of the global tablet market continues to remain a cause for concern for one and all. After enduring several quarters of falling sales and declining profits, the global tablet market seems to be poised for more of the same during the current quarter if a new report from Digitimes Research is anything to go by. According to the report, about 51.9 million tablets are expected to be shipped globally during Q4 2016. The number is 21.5% lower than overall shipments during the same period last year although, thanks to the spurt in sales because of the onset of the holiday season, it will still be 7.3% higher than sales during the preceding quarter.
As far as vendors go, Apple will remain at the top thanks to the comparative popularity of its latest iPads in a market where most companies are struggling to gain traction. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is expected to account for 21.3% of all tablets shipped globally during this quarter, while Samsung will apparently follow close behind with 15.0% market share. The rest of the vendors will continue to remain a long way off, although Amazon's remarkable success with its Fire tablets will apparently propel it to number three with a 6.2% share of the market. Lenovo with 6.1%, Huawei with 5.9%, Asus with 2.8%, TCL with 2.7%, Microsoft with 2.6%, LG with 1.6% and Acer with 1.2% market share are expected to round off the top-ten list during the quarter.
Breaking down those numbers further, Digitimes claims that a majority of the shipped units will be iPads, 10.9 million of which are expected to be shipped by Apple during the quarter. 24.4 million units are expected to be from other vendors, while 16.0 million tablets shipped during the current quarter will apparently be white box units that are expected to be sold as re-branded devices by various companies worldwide. Furthermore, the report claims that devices with small footprints will continue to rule the roost, with 7-inch slates all set to remain the most popular form-factor with 31.4% share of the market. In terms of processors, Apple will understandably remain on top with 30.9% market share. MediaTek, Qualcomm, Samsung and Intel will follow suit at numbers two, three, four and five respectively.