While the tablet seems to have hit a plateau in many markets across the world, in India the market grew steadily in the last couple of quarters of 2014. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the India tablet market reported shipments 0.96 million units in Q4, a quarter-on-quarter growth of 3.6%. They attributed this to the strong performance by local players as well as increasing interest of the PC OEMs in the tablets space. In 2014, India witnessed shipments of over 3.5 million, a decline of 15% over CY 2013.
“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
Interestingly, the top vendor is local brand iBall which tripled its numbers to get the better of Samsung. The company grew from 4.5 pc in Q4 2013 to 15.6 pc in Q4 2014. Samsung slipped to the second spot, with 12.9% of the market share as against a 17.9% share in Q4 2013. Datawind, the brand synonymous with the Akash tablet, is placed third with a 9.6 per cent market share.
The 7-inch tablets placed in less than $150 price band are the more popular in India and will continue to be so for the coming quarter, according to IDC. “While Android still has majority of the pie, we do see vendors exploring the 8-9” windows form factor,” the report said.
“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, as the market moved swiftly towards 3G connected tablets.
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 we may see re-entry of some of the older players in the top five vendor list. “On a yearly basis, we expect 2015 to post single digit growth over 2014.”