Tablets soaring in Indian market

03 Oct,2011

By A Correspondent

The India media tablets market witnessed high-decibel launches by the world’s leading vendors, aiming to ‘wow’ consumers with snazzy, new offerings.

Although the India tablets market is still nascent, nearly 1,58,000 media tablets were sold (shipped) in the nine months ended June 30, 2011. The split between 3G and WiFi models was in the proportion 70:30. Samsung used a tactical price drop to emerge the best selling Tablet brand in India during the three quarters ended June 2011.

Olivepad launched the first media tablet in India in July 2010. The first major international brand to launch followed in October 2010 – the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Apple iPad, the most well recognized tablet, arrived in India only in January 2011.

Table 1. India Tablet Market: Leading Vendors (in terms of unit shipments),
October 2010-June 2011


Vendor Launch Month and Year Market Share
(in terms of unit shipments)
Samsung October 2010 45.8%
RIM June 2011 21.0%
Apple January 2011 18.4%
Others 14.8%


Source: CyberMedia Research, September 2011


“Tablets provide touch based user experience with a convenient screen size for web surfing, content consumption and entertainment. Moreover, portability, ease of use and wireless connectivity ‘on-the-go’ make the tablet an even more attractive buy”, stated Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research.


“Currently, the India media tablets market has many more models available with a range of features and at a variety of price points, compared to six months ago. However, for the Tablet to become a common man’s device, usage tariffs for high speed data services need to be brought down even further along with useful and relevant content for the Indian consumer”, Anirban added.


RIM’s Playbook, Apple’s iPad2, Motorola’s Xoom and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7 are some of the notable MNC tablet brands available in the India market in the high end range. Tablet models in the India market in 2Q 2011 ranged from Rs. 8,000 per unit going up to Rs. 47,000 per unit. Going forward, CyberMedia Research expects a majority of Tablet models to launch in the volume segment at a price band between Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 15,000.


Tablets to help personalize the individual’s digital life

Content consumption will form the backbone of Tablet adoption in India. The consumption patterns span multiple formats: Entertainment (Music, Movies, Gaming, Cricket etc.), Video (calls, video sharing sites, Live TV), social networking and IM, web browsing and educational content (wikis, online digital libraries), ‘T-banking’, and productivity enhancement tools and corporate applications (e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets and others).


The use cases would range from purely individual instances of content consumption (e-books) to sharing of content in social settings (family photo albums), professional environments (presentations, videoconferencing) or public and statutory filings and transactions (requests for government services, e-filing of tax returns).


“Applications like video chat and Live TV already popular with smartphone users around the world are expected to become popular with India media tablet users as well. Further, it is expected that new data focused applications will be developed for the Tablet user community. Newspapers that have their PC- and mobile-specific websites are expected to develop tablet-specific websites and ‘apps’ as the tablet user base grows and achieves critical, making it attractive for advertisers. The type of content being consumed will be determined by the use case and the individual’s preferences depending on stage of life or time of day or week”, stated Mr Naveen Mishra, Lead Analyst, Telecommunications Practice, CyberMedia Research.


“As the ecosystem of collaboration and partnerships between device vendors, content providers and operators comes alive, and more local language content and localized apps become available, a variety of new use cases are expected to emerge. Innovations such as USB connectivity so that customers are able to use their existing dongles or an SD card slot to help users copy and store large volumes of personal digital content will help to strengthen adoption of media tablets in India”, Mr Mishra further added.


BWA and Volume Segment Tablets: The Game Changing ‘Combo’

Reliance-Infotel won broadband wireless access (BWA) licences for 22 out of 23 circles in the spectrum auction in 2010, while Qualcomm acquired BWA licenses in four circles including Mumbai and Delhi. Aircel, Bharti, Tikona and Augere also won BWA licences in select circles.


Further proliferation of 3G networks and launch of BWA (4G / WiMax / LTE) services will lead to new types of data services being demanded and consumed by mobile subscribers. This trend is expected to contribute to a rise in shipments of media tablets in the India market in CY 2011 to touch 2,75,000 units. At that point, the total number of vendors is expected to touch 35 with 90 models on offer.


“The launch of low cost tablets bundled with affordable data services on 3G and BWA networks can be expected to give a further boost to India Tablet shipments in 2012 and beyond,” Mr Mishra concluded.



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