Tablet Sales Slump After Pandemic Surge: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

But it’s not all bad news for the tablet sector, dominated by Apple and Samsung, as we reveal

A glass globe illustrating the world sitting on a digital tablet
(Image credit: Getty)

The tech revolution has been upon us for decades, whether it was the boom in televisions, computers or cell phones. More recently, AI is firmly in the spotlight, alongside more developments in other products.  

To help you understand the market, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of developments in the tech sector (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You will get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest… 

Here's another sign that the tech spending boom has returned to earth: Tablet shipments are back to normal, after a surge during the pandemic among buyers rushing to buy the portable devices for remote work and play.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

Market research firm IDC reports that global shipments in the first quarter of 2023 were 30.1 million units, close to the 31.6 million shipped in the first quarter of 2019.

Those preliminary figures show a 19% year-over-year decline, and demand will weaken further. The market is dominated by Apple and Samsung, which grab the majority of shipments. 

Still, other vendors continue to compete, such as China’s Huawei, the third-largest seller, Lenovo takes fourth position with Amazon in fifth, seeing a drop of 62% year over year. OnePlus and Google are also launching new tablets.

Though vendors are hurt by falling sales, they are cheering huge user gains. Apple, for example, boasts that iPad users reached a new all-time high recently. The company profits from device users splurging on the company’s other services.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter. Since 1923, the Letter has helped millions of business executives and investors profit by providing reliable forecasts on business and the economy, as well as what to expect from Washington. Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe.  

The Kiplinger Letter editors are a team of seasoned reporters and editors who specialize in different subject areas. They uncover emerging trends and foresee future developments that will affect the economy, financial markets, specific industries, and ultimately, your business, investments and financial affairs. For over a century the Kiplinger Letter's team has provided concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington.