Seven-inch tablets monopolised 64.1 percent of global tablet shipments in 2014, but fell to 57.7 percent in 2015, according to a US market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
With the emergence of big 5.5-inch-plus screen phones such as iPhone 6 Plus (Review | Pictures) and iPhone 6s Plus (Review), the Samsung Galaxy S6 models and the recently released Huawei Mate 8, consumers may pause as they shop for tablet PCs.
As a result, most of the major tablet vendors have slowed their pace in the development of 7-inch or larger tablets, a phenomenon that has been best illustrated at this year's CES, where almost none of big tablet brand names such as Samsung, LG announced new 7- or 8-inch tablets development plans.
The IDC predicts sales of small tablets in global shipments will be falling to 43 percent.
"Phablets have and will continue to impact sales of smaller screen size tablets," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, tablets research director at IDC.
"The value proposition of a 7-inch slate tablet is considerable reduced when end-users also carries a large smartphone," Bouchard added.