Next year is also expected to represent the first full year of decline in Apple iPad shipments. This partly due tot he increase in lifecycles for tablets which are now more closely resembling those of PCs.
"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."
IDC says that the future tablet shipments could be affected by: the industry reaction to Windows 10; what Google does in this space with Android and Chrome OS; and Apple's rumored product line expansion.
Take a look at the chart below for more details...