There were 4.14 million tablets shipped in India in 2013, with the overall tablet sales touching 2.66 million units in the year, according to IDC’s latest tablet shipment report. The growth has been attributed to the surge in demand for low-cost tablets, with 56.4 percent year-on-year growth in annual shipments when compared to 2012. Vendors-wise, Samsung dominated the tablet market with 18.7 percent share and Micromax held the second position with 8.9 percent share in 2013. Apple stood third and accounted for 7.5 percent of the tablet market.
The findings of the report show that the first half of the year witnessed a substantial growth in tablet volumes due to the growth in the sales of the low-cost tablets, however the market contracted in the second half of the year. The first half accounted for 2.48 million tablets while shipments shrunk to 1.67 million units in the second half of 2013. While low-cost tablets were the key drivers to the growth in tablet sales, it was also due to the introduction of various buyback offers that increased tablet sales by a substantial number.
IDC highlights that while Samsung has a strong presence in the 7 to 8-inch screen size, the company scaled down its volumes owing to changing market dynamics. Micromax, on the other hand, did well in the tablet market primarily due to its strong presence in the low-cost tablet segment.
The iPad mini did well for Apple, which witnessed a significant growth in the tablet market in 2013. It was mainly due to the company’s buyback offer on the iPad mini that had helped it fare well in the market. The company has recently introduced yet another buyback offer for its first-gen model of the iPad mini.
Despite the huge growth in the tablet market, IDC expects that the overall tablet market would remain flat in 2014. “The Government mandate on BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) Certification mixed with the growing popularity of phablets is likely to obstruct the growth in the tablet category,” said Kiran Kumar, research manager with IDC.
IDC believes that most of the growth will come in tablets with display sizes bigger than 8-inches. “The popularity of phablets has in fact crossed over the demand for 7-inch tablets. For a price conscious market like India, it is about owning a combination device, meeting the needs with one device instead of two,” said, Karan Thakkar, senior market analyst with IDC. “Also, the return rates on low cost 7-inch tablets have been inexplicably large. First time users latching onto such devices are now looking to move to products that offer better experience in terms of life span and quality.”
The report also highlights that tablets are increasingly getting accepted in varied industries like healthcare, financial services, media and education. ““Activities such as interactive digital presentations, collecting KYC (Know your Customer) documents, and point-of-sale transactions are typical use cases”, added Thakkar.