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Indian tablet market sees steady increase in Q4

Business Standard:  February 24, 2015

Pune: Strong performance of local companies and increasing interest of personal computers’ original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the tablets space have contributed to the expansion of the market. India tablet market reported shipments of 960,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (calendar year), a quarter-on-quarter growth of 3.6 per cent, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

The share of PC OEMs in the market has almost doubled on a year-on-year basis. This led to 2014 closing on a 3.5-million mark posting a rise of 15 per cent over 2013. IDC anticipates 2015 to kick-start with large government and education projects feeding the commercial segment. The consumer space will continue to be led by the local brands and there might be re-entry of some of the older players in the top five vendors list. On a yearly basis, IDC expects 2015 to post single-digit growth over 2014.

“The market saw a correction post the introduction of BIS regulation in July 2013. Unbranded tablets were wiped off from the market thereby contracting the bubble of growth witnessed in 1H 2013 and hence resulting in year-on-year decline in growth,” says Tanvi Mann, market analyst, client devices, IDC India.

For the quarter in terms of form factor, seven-inch tablets costing below $150 populate the market and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. While Android still has majority of the pie, with vendors expected to explore the 8-9-inch form factor, the report noted.

“Consumers are driving the wave of adoption of low cost tablets as a preferred mobility solution. We are also witnessing a higher inclination of consumers towards online buying platforms and vendors are keeping up with the trend,” says Kiran Kumar, research manager, client devices, IDC India.

Wi-fi enabled tablets have faced a steep decline over the quarters, losing out to connected tablets. The market is swiftly moving towards third-generation connected tablets that posted a double-digit growth in the fourth quarter and accounted for approximately 60 per cent of the total shipments. “We expect fourth-generation tablets to pick up as more service providers roll out their LTE (long-term evolution) spectrums by the second half of 2015,” the report noted.

Among vendors, iBall rapidly climbed up its way to the No 1 spot in the quarter under review. From a 4.5 per cent share in the fourth quarter of 2013, the brand has trebled its share in the fourth quarter of 2014. Its growth is backed by low-cost products targeted at consumers looking to own entry level form factors.

Samsung slipped to the second spot, with 12.9 per cent of the market share against a 17.9 per cent share in the fourth quarter of 2013. Local tablet vendors are posing stiff competition to Samsung at retail counters.

Datawind, which was synonymous with the Akash tablet thanks to its engagement with government education projects in 2013, is now focused on the consumer segment. Its low-priced products follow a unique channel of direct selling and TV/newspaper-led buying, targeting tier-II and tier-III cities.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.