Analysts with ABI Research are predicting that manufacturers will ship 40 million tablets worldwide during the fourth quarter, up from 30 million in the third quarter. That will account for 29 percent of the total tablets shipped during the year. However, the firm says this will be a temporary phenomenon due primarily to retailers lowering prices on the devices for the holiday shopping season. On a year-over-year basis, tablet sales continue to decline.
"The message has been that the tablet market has been declining, and that's not changing," Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI Research, said. "On an annual basis, if we break the calendar year into four calendar quarters, the fourth quarter is always elevated because of the holiday shopping season."