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Tablet shipments continue to fall worldwide

Tablet shipments continue to fall worldwide
Tablet shipments continue to fall worldwide. Above, the iPad mini 2, at left, and its larger-screen counterpart. (Carl Court / AFP / Getty Images)

After three years of enormous growth, the worldwide tablet market continues to decline.

Tablet shipments in the second quarter fell 11% year over year to 42.5 million units, according to the latest report from Canalys.

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Shipments fell in every worldwide region "with no reason to believe that growth will return in the short term," the research firm said.

Among the challenges: Sales in high-growth markets are dwindling as large-screen smartphones grow in popularity. And coming up, tablets will have to compete against a new wave of two-in-one laptop hybrid devices designed to take advantage of Windows 10.

Canalys found that the tablet market peaked in the fourth quarter of 2013, going into decline a year later.

Despite the "sudden downturn," there are still opportunities for tablet manufacturers, Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling said.

"Unlike consumers, businesses have been slow when it comes to mass adoption of tablets," he said. "In the consumer space, demand for premium tablets in established markets has noticeably slowed but is not going to disappear."

The top five countries accounted for half of the world's tablet shipments, with Apple's iPad leading in all but one (Brazil).

"It is well placed to continue leading the market for the time being," Coulling said.

Twitter: @byandreachang

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