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Tablet Sales Increase for First Time Since 2014


Households are more crowded than ever at all times of the day with work, learning, and entertainment all occurring in the home as a result of COVID-19 counter-measures.

To meet these needs consumers have been buying tablets at the fastest rate in six years, and as a result global sales are expected to increase 1% year-on-year to 160.8 million units in 2020, according to Strategy Analytics’ latest report.

The analysis also shows that consumers are switching to larger displays, with a majority now larger than 10” for the first time. The increasing use of tablets for productivity and education has also led to higher sales of Detachable 2-in-1 devices (such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7, and all of Apple’s current iPad models except for the iPad mini), which allow for a keyboard to be attached.

The report suggests that, while tablet sales are likely to remain plateaued over the coming years, the trend towards devices which compete more seriously as notebook PC alternatives is likely to continue.

“Productivity is a key driver in these trends, but let’s face it: quarantine is boring and streaming video is always better on a larger screen. Even low-cost entertainment slate tablets have caught a piece of the boom in tablet demand,” said Eric Smith, Director at Connected Computing.

“Small sized tablet demand is declining as large smartphones/phablets continue to put pressure on small tablet demand. Accordingly, tablet vendors have focused their portfolios on the 10″ to 13″ segment and notebook sizing has moved to 13″ and beyond for the most part.”

“In addition to the shift toward larger screen sizes, detachable tablet shipments have more than doubled from 17% tablet market share in 2017 to 40% in 2020.”

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