Tablet Shipments Drop 17.5 Percent as Phablets Soar: CMR India

Tablet Shipments Drop 17.5 Percent as Phablets Soar: CMR India
Rising popularity of phablets and BIS certification issues have hit the tablet market in India, with shipments declining 17.5 percent in January-March 2014 quarter to 0.75 million units, research firm CMR said on Thursday.

According to CMR's India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, 746,463 units of tablets were shipped in the January-March 2014 period by 30 domestic and international vendors.

However, only 11 vendors shipped in significant volumes of more than 20,000 units during the period, it added.

A phablet is a portmanteau of the words phone and tablet.

Phablets typically have screens that measure (diagonally) between 5.01- and 6.9-inches while tablets are typically larger than smartphones at 7 inches (18 cm) or larger.

Vendors shipped 905,594 units of tablets in Q1 CY2013, while 1,032,739 units were sold in October-December 2013 quarter.

Samsung was the market leader with 24.9 percent share, followed by Datawind (15.9 percent) and Apple (10.2 percent).

"BIS certification issues had a temporary impact".

However, rise in popularity of phablets has diminished the significance of tablets among potential consumers, particularly in the sub Rs. 15,000-20,000 price category," CMR Lead Analyst Telecoms Practice Faisal Kawoosa said.

In such a scenario, hopes of the tablet industry are pegged high on enterprises, he added.

"However, the challenge there remains bringing to market solutions-oriented tablets rather than plain computing and general content consumption devices," Faisal said.

As vendors launch more solutions-oriented devices, with a mix of software and hardware improvisations, one would see tablets gaining adoption within the enterprise segment, he added.

Enterprises consumed around 22.1 percent of the total tablet shipments during Q1 CY 2014.

Talking about individual vendor performances, CMR Telecoms Practice Analyst Tarun Pathak said Samsung continues to be the leader in the category, primarily due to its diverse product portfolio with offerings at various price points, screen sizes and connectivity perspective.

"Also, Apple is back in the 'Top 3' after almost a year on the back of an aggressive marketing campaign and strong sales of iPad Mini that contributed almost 60 percent of Apple's total India iPad shipments during Q1 CY 2014," he added.

(Also Read: Tablet sales jumped 50 percent in 2013: IDC)

Pathak said there are only 30 players competing in the Indian tablet segment as compared to an all-time high of 68 during April-June 2013 quarter.

This shows that the India tablets market has seen consolidation in recent quarters, as all the players who launched products could not generate sufficient sales to sustain operations, he added.

"Going forward, it will be interesting to watch how the seven-inch tablet market, which currently contributes close to 80 percent of total sales, will emerge from the expected stiff face-off from phablets," Pathak said.


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