Tab'bing the Indian market
The emergence of various low-cost indigenous names has made tablets accessible to the price conscious Indian consumer
The tablet frenzy has gripped the Indian consumers at large since the time it was launched in the country. Currently, this booming market is witnessing exponential growth. In fact, India is one of the fastest growing markets across the globe wherein it is witnessing a sudden spur in the demand and the emergence of various tablet players.
While the market is dominated by international brands, the emergence of various low cost indigenous names has made tablets accessible to the price conscious Indian consumer. According to some of the industry estimates, the Indian tablet market grew 770% to around Rs 2,000 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 230 crore in 2010-11.
A recent report titled ‘ India Tablet PC’s Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2016’, further entails to the fact that the outlook for the tablet PC market in India seems very promising as the overall consumer spending and acceptance is increasing in the country. Adding to it, a figure by ABI research firm indicates that the Indian media tablet market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 71% in 2017 which reiterates the continuous growth of this industry.
The tablets market over the last one year is going through a constant phase of evolution and several brands have entered this segment to showcase their capabilities to the end users. However, the majority part of this burgeoning market is being currently ruled by the likes of Samsung, Apple, HCL, and BlackBerry.
According to a Cyber Media Research 2012 report, the country saw total shipments of about 762,666 units of tablets in the FY12. The Indian market for tablets, in terms of unit shipments, is being led by Samsung with 47.4% share (including Galaxy Note shipments), followed by Apple with 16.6%, HCL Infosystems with 6.0%, RIM with 5.1%, and ZTE with 3.3%. In totality, the top 5 vendors have a market share of approximately 78%.
Though the market is currently dominated by a handful of players, the competition is intensifying with many Indian manufacturers foraying into this space and launching their tablets at a very competitive price range. Apparently, these Indian manufacturers have already started showing the signs of gaining more market share in Indian tablets market than the multinational brands.
“Contrary to the general view that new categories of personal technology computing devices might cannibalise older ones, the trend amongst consumers is multiple ownership. Consumers will continue to buy laptops, smartphones and tablets. In India, industry expects to sell around 45 lakhs laptops and 3 lakhs tablets in the current financial year. While laptop category will witness around 15% growth, tablets will grow at 100% being a new category,” opined Alok Bharadwaj, president, MAIT. Traction in the country
The Indian market has become very competitive in the five quarters since Q4 2010, when the first tablet model was introduced in the country by Samsung. Since then, the market has witnessed huge growth in terms of demand, shipments, and emergence of various players.
Today, education sector is being seen as the primary segment driving the Indian tablet market, as a large number of models are positioned at this segment. But at the same time, this demand is not only limited to students, it is also being created by parents, institutions, and the government across the country.
While large scale institutional purchases have not happened this year, the retail education market for such devices with pre-loaded educational content is large and growing rapidly. The corporate sector with direct marketing sales force is also finding the tablet a very useful and cost effective accessory in lieu of the laptops.
“Education has become one of the ‘hot’ verticals with respect to adoption of tablets. The focus of the Ministry of HRD, government of India, to strengthen the education sector in the country by using technology in the delivery of educational content has created a stir and garnered the attention of private vendors and solution providers. The launch of Akash followed by launches by vendors such as Micromax, Zync and HCL who have introduced tablets at price points starting as low as Rs. 6,500 will strengthen the adoption of tablets,” added Tarun Pathak, analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.
Though we are still in the early stages of adoption of tablets as compared to the other developed countries, the end consumers are increasingly getting inclined towards using tablets over other mobile devices. There are a lot of factors such as, price, guarantee, durability, availability of applications, tariff plans which have enhanced the demand for tablets among Indian consumers. Where the future lies...
The future seems to be very exciting for the Indian tablets market. The industry estimates that in the next 24 months, the tablet market would exceed the size of the computer market in India. In fact, it will rule the future of personal computing landscape, which means that there is a lot of potential for new entrants in this space.
In the near future, utility value, inbuilt handy apps, on-the-go seamless connectivity will be some the key factors that will drive the tablet space. On the enterprise front, sectors such as BFSI, education, insurance, healthcare and entertainment will also play major role in driving the category. With the increase in number of other players the competition in the tablet space has been on the rise, resulting in innovative products. Factors such as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and upgraded multimedia features will further increase the acceptance of tablets in the corporate sector.
“In the past few months, a number of new vendors have entered the India tablets market with entry-level offerings. Most of these vendors have been mobile handset vendors or IT product distributors. Their insights and understanding about the needs of the Indian consumer for a ‘pocket-friendly’ tablet and their strengths in distribution are factors that could help these players garner a piece of the ‘value-for-money’ tablets market going forward,” concludes Pathak.