ABI claims that the decline over the past two years has been because branded tablets in advanced market economies fell due to saturation, slow replacement cycles, greater influence of business purchases, and substitution.
Chinese and other Asian markets are seeing decreased demand for white-box tablets due to shifts to branded tablets, as well as reliance on smartphones and phablets.
While the total tablet volume in 2015 was more than 207 million, ABI Research expects this to sink below 140 million global shipments in 2021.
Jeff Orr, research director at ABI Research said that China was moving away from white box products to support local and global brand manufacturers. This behaviour is mirrored across other markets in Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. He thinks that white box tablets will disappear.
Future tablet shipments show an interesting shift towards developing countries with advanced countries giving them a miss.
"The major, advanced economies of the world represented close to 63 percent of branded tablet shipments in 2015. This will soon flip. We predict that, by 2021, 57 percent of branded tablet shipments will come from emerging and developing economies," Orr said.