Global tablet shipments are expected to decline 15% on year to reach 51.88 million units in the third quarter as the mobile device market continues to see weak demand despite vendors' inventory preparation for the year-end holidays, the launch of Windows 10 and growth in the 4G services market. However, China-based white-box players will see a 15% growth from the second quarter because their orders from overseas markets will recover, boosting their combined shipments to over 19 million units, according to Digitimes Research's latest report on the global tablet market.
As for iPads' shipments, Apple will continue to sell the existing iPad Air models instead of launching a new one for the 9-inch segment. Apple's 12.85-inch iPad is expected to initially see small-volume shipments, leaving the overall iPad shipments to reach only below 12 million units in the third quarter, down 20% from the same quarter a year ago, Digitimes Research estimates.
Compared to Apple and white-box players, non-Apple brand vendors are expected perform better in the third quarter thanks to their mainstream Android tablet shipments. Windows 10 will not benefit 2-in-1 devices much yet and is unlikely to do so until Intel releases its next-generation processors at the end of the third quarter.
Non-Apple brand vendors will together ship over 20 million tablets in the third quarter, down around 7% on year.
The top-3 players will remain Apple, Samsung and Lenovo, while Asustek will return to fourth place thanks to the mass production of its SoFIA 3G-R-based ZenPad. TCL will be fifth, while Microsoft will slide to seventh because its new Surface tablet will not enter mass production until the fourth quarter.
As for Taiwan ODMs, their combined tablet shipments will grow 10% sequentially to reach around 17 million units in the third quarter.