Have you been wondering why there has been so much talk about smartwatches lately despite the fact that we really haven’t seen anything of interest from major vendors yet? Well here’s your answer: Tablet shipments from first-tier vendors are expected to decline in the holiday quarter this year. According to Digitimes’ research arm, Q4 tablet shipments from top vendors like Samsung, Apple and LG are expected to grow 18.1% sequentially to 42.15 million units this year. But that seasonal bump led by Apple’s completely redesigned iPad Air won’t stop shipments from dipping 2.5% on-year, according to the report. As the high-margin, high-end smartphone market continues to slow and tablet sales decelerate as well, consumer electronics companies need to look elsewhere if they hope to maintain solid growth. That “elsewhere,” it would seem, is smartwatches. Whether or not they’ll take off remains to be seen but with Apple, Google and others currently working on new offerings, 2014 could be the year we find out.