While mobile phone manufacturers are riding high on the increasing smartphone penetration in India, tablets shipment have also posted a promising number the last quarter. In April-June 2015, the India tablet shipment numbers breached 1.07 million mark and recoded a rise of 16.4 per cent annually and 4.2 per cent quarterly, according to a study by CyberMedia Research.
Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst at CMR Telecoms Practice, said, “As the nation’s mobile consumers inch towards higher levels of data consumption, it has a direct impact on factors such as device screen size. As of today, only a tablet can provide users a conveniently bigger screen; this should give some hope to the industry that the market will revive as 4G data networks become widely available and accessed by users in more and more cities and towns. In that sense, the April-June 2015 quarter may be the starting point for a whole new growth opportunity.”
However, the market is largely concentrated among the top five players who constitute 67.90 per cent of the total tablet shipment. The report added that Samsung is leading the market, while Datawind and iBall follow with the second and third spot, respectively.
According to CMR’s India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, from Q2 2015, tablet shipments during the quarter were led by 34 domestic and international vendors. However, only ten vendors shipped in significant volumes of more than 20,000 units each during the period. Therefore, a wide gap still exists in the manufacturing pattern.
Tracing the trend in the increased smartphone penetration, the unprecedented increase in the tablet shipment in the country is largely on back of launch of new models by local vendors and Xiaomi contributing significantly to unit shipments for the first time in the quarter. However, the India story needs a larger push to outset Chinese manufacturers in the tablet community.
“The time now appears to be ripe for China-based OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) to disrupt the tablets market. After smartphones, I expect these players will now focus on the tablets category and bring in quality at affordable price points for the discerning user”, said Sachin Mehta, Analyst, Telecom Devices, CMR.
“As in the smartphones category, the tablets market has the potential for an exciting battle if Chinese brands can introduce function-rich models and establish top-of-mind presence through ‘smart’ marketing tactics. This calibrated blend of innovation and aggression promises to be exciting as it can benefit consumers as well as ensure sustained industry growth”, Mr Mehta concluded.
The growth numbers are impressive and reckon the technological development in the country but manufactures must remain committed to designing better technology which is compatible with the infrastructural attributes of India and are innovative to keep tablets alive and growing in the long term.