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Worldwide tablet shipments to reach new low in 1Q18
Source: DIGITIMES   Editor: Helan   Update Time :2018/2/5 16:47:06

Worldwide tablet shipments totaled around 46 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, better than Digitimes Research's original forecast thanks to increasing demand from year-end holidays. Both brand and white-box tablet shipments had sequential growths in the quarter.

However, having placed strong orders for two consecutive quarters, clients of white-box tablet suppliers are expected to cut their shipments for the first quarter of 2018 to lower their inventory levels and the move will undermine the suppliers' shipments in the quarter.

For the brand tablet segment, despite the inexpensive Apple iPad's efforts to buck the trend of the first-quarter 2018 low season, shipments from non-Apple first-tier brand vendors will still be limited without the support of new tablet devices for the quarter.

As a result, worldwide tablet output will fall 30% sequentially and 17.1% on year to stand at around 32 million units, a new historical low.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, tablet shipments to first-tier brand vendors accounted for over 70% of the overall worldwide volume, growing more than 10% sequentially, meeting Digitimes Research's forecast thanks to the vendors' aggressive promotions.

However, the growth was primarily contributed by Apple, which had been offering discounts for iPads, pushing its shipments to surpass those of the same period a year ago.

After its strong promotional campaign in the third quarter of 2017, Amazon turned less aggressive about marketing its tablets in the fourth quarter, resulting in a sequential shipment decline for non-Apple first-tier brand vendors' combined shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017.

White-box players saw their combined shipments reach more than 12 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 3% sequentially, mainly due to strong orders from their overseas clients.

However, compared to the same period a year ago, the overall white-box tablet shipments still slipped 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 because of fierce competitions from first-tier brands' inexpensive models and weakening demand from emerging markets that are gradually reaching saturation.

In the first quarter of 2018, overall tablet shipments from first-tier brand vendors will drop to only around 22.5 million units, down 32% sequentially as non-Apple first-tier vendors will not have any new devices for the quarter.

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