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Get the tablets ready!: Media tablet fever grips Malaysia

Tablets have become a rage amongst multimedia entertainment seekers, businessmen and corporates alike. The fever seems to have gripped the Malaysians, the most. The insatiable hunger for the latest tablets in Malaysia is driving the continued growth in sales of this popular technology. Retail audit data by GfK revealed its demand hitting yet another high as over 625,000 units of media tablets flew off the shelves, generating USD 201 million in revenue in the latest six month period of January to June this year.

The robust sales performance of media tablets in the first half of the year translated to an 18 per cent surge in volume turnover compared to the same time frame in 2013. All regions in the country showed stable growth with the bustling Central region being the major contributor, accounting for 53 per cent of total quantity sold.

“The local tablet market hit its peak with a record sales volume of 114,000 units in January this year; driven by the seasonal festive and holiday season. At the same time, our findings exhibit an apparent trend of screen size preference skewing towards smaller models, away from the larger screen sized ones which were previously garnering more sales,” highlighted Selinna Chin, Managing Director for GfK in Malaysia.

In the first half of this year, four in five (81%) tablets bought were 8.9 inch or smaller in screen size, as compared to just 59 percent during the same period last year. The 10 inch and above models accounted for a considerable 29 per cent share previously but has shrunk to a little over 10 per cent during the latest tracking period. Its share has been taken over by the 7 to 7.9 inch which increased by nearly 11 per cent, as well as the 8 – 8.9 inch segment which also managed to grow its share by some 11 percent.

With the shift in consumer preference towards smaller tablets, average selling price of the device has correspondingly declined from USD 410 to USD 322—lower by around 27 per cent compared to last year.

Expansion of LTE network coverage in the country has played a major role in driving the rising take up of LTE-enabled media tablets (with 4G only). The increasing number of offerings in the market—as many as 179 models from 48 international and local brands in June 2014— saw LTE tablets generating the sales highest record of 98,000 units in the first half of the year.

“LTE technology in Malaysia still has some way to go as major Telco operators in the country are in the process of widening their coverage,” said Chin. “However, as infrastructure continues to improve with time, we can anticipate more new models with better features to heat up the already intense competition in the media tablets market, which will end up benefitting consumers as prices continue to fall and the gadget will become even more affordable,” Chin concluded.

Rahul Raj

Rahul is the Senior Correspondent for Digital Market Asia. He is a young journalist with a passion for photography.