Global tablet shipments are up for Q3 2018

The positive trend, however, won't last due to sharp decline in off-branded tablets after the holidays

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The popularity of smartphones and the rise of more hybrid form factor devices are considered a main cause of the low tablet demand. A new data, gathered by Digitimes Research, however, reveals there are positive trends for the tablets in the 3Q of 2018. According to estimates, between July and September, 44.89m tablets were sold on the global market. This, in turn, represents an increase of 21.1% compared to the previous quarter and a growth of 6.1% in comparison to the same period last year.

Users seems most interested in the 10-inch tablets, which reportedly generated about 30% of the sales due in part to the proliferation of smartphones in the 6-inch or larger category. The projections are that this figure will increase to over 40% in the first half of next year. Solid interest is shown also in  7" and 8" models that are positioned in the more budget-friendly area. Moreover, analysts also note growing interest in tablets that support styluses, as these accessories make it easier to draw and create graphics.

Despite the good performance in the third quarter, however, Digitimes Research expects a drop in tablet shipments during the attractive holiday season at the end of 2018, most likely with up to 2 - 2.5 percents. For branded tablets, shipments have a slightly better outlook, with the top companies matching expectations and growing by 15-percent from the third quarter - down from 29.9-percent in the prior quarter. Yet, the negative trend is expected to affect the off-branded tablets

The forecasts are not that unexpected since tablet sales have been on the decline for quite some time. Despite the fact that many tablet-manufacturers have increased the size of their offerings in the meantime, however, that trend doesn't appear to be abating. The implication seems to be that larger tablets still can't compete simultaneously with laptops and similar devices while, at the same time, they're no longer portable enough to contend directly with smartphones for consumers' attention. There is still a niche in the market for the devices but growth in terms of consumer appeal has remained stagnant.

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