WFH and e-learning will continue to drive demand for tablets
The company registered strong growth in CY2020 and also had the largest share in the premium segment (> `30,000), she added.
After years of lacklustre performance, the Indian tablet market turned the corner in 2020. The pandemic and ensuing disruption forced people to stay indoors and depend on devices like laptops and tablets for not just work from home (WFH) and online education, but also content consumption.
Analysts said in 2020, this form factor emerged as a family device. The industry is optimistic that tablet shipments will continue its growth trajectory in 2021 as well, driven by digital transformation and a growing demand for such devices in the edutech and government sectors.
Market research firm CMR’s analyst (industry intelligence group) Menka Kumari anticipated overall growth of shipments by around 5-10% in calendar year (CY) 2021.
“In CY2021, we anticipate the tablet market to start on a slower note. This is primarily because much of the consumer demand was fulfilled in the festive season (October-December 2020). However, we anticipate the demand to pick up in Q2 2021, driven by the education sector, and digital transformation in the post-vaccine world,” she told FE.
For consumers, tablets emerged as an attractive value-for-money companion device. The demand was largely fulfilled through an array of attractive festive offers. A new shift in dependency on tablets in healthcare, enterprises and home usage backed market growth furthermore, she explained.
According to CMR, in 2020 (CY), the tablet market grew at 6% YoY. Market sources said tablet shipments last year were in the range of 2.5 to 2.9 million units.
“Before Covid stuck, for almost three-four years tablet shipments were overshadowed by the huge traction in smartphones. Consumers simply preferred a smartphone over a seven-10 inch form factor, but the pandemic changed this,” said a senior official with a contract manufacturer, who did not wish to be named.
According to CMR, Lenovo replaced Samsung at the top with a 39% market share in 2020. Its commercial business saw good growth, driven by the government and education sectors. Apple replaced iBall at the third position for 2020 with 17% share.
Covid threw some surprises too for brands, says Kumari, adding, “In a pandemic year, a premium brand such as Apple was able to replace a value-for-money brand, such as iBall, in the top three brands during the year. Apple aggressively promoted its new iPad as an e-learning tool. Given Apple’s aspirational appeal amongst Indians, it was able to successfully carve a strong niche for itself.”
As uncertainties owing to the pandemic continue to persist, Apple has a good opportunity to increase its market share in the overall tablet market. The company registered strong growth in CY2020 and also had the largest share in the premium segment (> Rs 30,000), she added.