Recent estimates for tablet sales have seen incredible growth, and analysts have predicted even more growth in the years to come. It's strange, then, that today a prediction was released stating the tablet market will contract year-over-year during the fourth quarter.
DigiTimes Research today predicted that tablet shipments from "major brand vendors" will reach only 42.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2013. That's a 2.5% drop from the number of tablets shipped during the fourth quarter of 2012, a quarter that saw high tablet sales cut into traditional holiday PC brand sales.
DigiTimes' report states that the market for top-branded tablets has "started maturing." This could mean that markets where those branded tablets sell best could be becoming saturated even faster than the smartphone market has. Though many of these same manufacturers are scrambling to provide low-cost tablet solutions for the emerging markets (Brazil, China, India) where most of the market's growth is predicted in the coming years, white box brands in those countries could end up benefitting the most.
The report also shows that Apple will ship around half of all the tablets shipped during the third quarter due to its updated iPad Air tablet. This is despite the rumors that the new iPad Mini is in short supply due to problems manufacturing its new Retina display.
Samsung will, of course, ship the second-most tablets during the fourth quarter. Amazon's big push for its new Kindle Fire devices will propel it to third place, and Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will follow behind.