The tablet market is dead, they said. With the size of phone screens constantly growing larger, who would need a tablet anyway? And now, with foldable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 available, a tablet and a phone can be the same device. But along came the pandemic and things changed as those working from home or attending classes remotely turned to a tablet to get their work done during the day, and play games or watch streaming videos at night.
Apple iPad sales during fiscal year 2020 started to pick up. Starting with the fiscal third quarter of 2020 (which included April-June when the pandemic started to take off), iPad sales rose every quarter. During the fiscal second quarter of this year, iPad sales soared by a resounding 79% year-over-year. According to Digitimes, with the rumored release of the lower-priced ninth-generation iPad next month, Apple could end up shipping 60 million tablets in calendar 2021.
Also expected to help Apple hit 60 million tablets shipped this year is a new iPad mini (2021). Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has already said that the new iPad mini will get “the biggest redesign” in the model’s history. The new iPad mini could end up with a design similar to the iPad Pro (2021) with thinner bezels with a brushed aluminum back. Touch ID will be integrated into the power button.
Before COVID started to raise its ugly head again, global tablet sales were forecast to decline by 5.9% this year to $37.5 billion with a further drop to $34.3 billion by 2025.