• Welcome to OnlyTech Forums
    An online community for the tech enthusiasts!
    Log in or Register

Tablet Proliferation: One Size Does Not Fit All


5 Aug 2011
Reaction score
The global media tablet market is buzzing, and tablets have been acknowledged as the fastest-growing product category in over a decade. Ever since Apple invented this category in the form of the iPad in February 2010, nearly 55 million units of media tablets have been sold worldwide. With nearly 14 million iPads sold so far, Apple has the largest chunk of this market, followed by Samsung, whose Galaxy Tabs have sold 7.5 million units.

According to Gartner, 63.6 million tablets will be sold by the end of 2011, registering a 261 percent increase from the 17.6 million units that were sold in 2010. This figure will touch 326.3 million units
by 2015.

Seeing the huge potential, a lot of PC OEMs, mobile companies and several other players are entering the market to capitalize on the tablet opportunity.

In India the first tablet device, the Galaxy Tab 7, was launched in November 2010 by Samsung. According to one research report, in the first six months up to March 2011 nearly 85,000 tablets were sold in India.

With an 84.7 percent marketshare, Samsung accounted for the lion’s share during this period, while the indigenous brand Olive cornered 8.2 percent. The iPads lagged way behind with only 5.9 percent share, primarily because of Apple’s lack of focus on India.

While the initial numbers are small, it is the growth forecast that is exciting. As per industry estimates, India is expected to sell three lakh tablets in the current fiscal. This number is likely to climb to 2.5 million units by 2013—almost a nine-fold growth in just two years.

Influx of tablets
Today, in India, there are more than 50 tablet brands, including MNC, Chinese, regional and local players, with price points ranging from Rs5,000 to Rs35,000.

Most mobile players worth their salt—including Apple, Samsung, HTC, Blackberry and Motorola—have launched tablets in India. So have many PC OEMs like Dell, Acer and Asus. Then there are the local and regional brands.

Dell was one of the first PC OEMs to launch its tablet under the Streak brand. “The market response to the Streak 5 has been satisfactory. The 5-inch Streak hits the sweet spot between traditional smartphones and larger-screen tablets,” says P Krishnakumar, Executive Director, Marketing, Consumer & SMB, Dell India.

With its Iconia range, Acer too is bullish about tablets. “We have launched three variants—two based on the Android Honeycomb platform and one based on Windows Phone 7. We have adopted a good mix of marketing activities for promoting the product line across the target audience. In addition, we have several channel incentive programs,” says Saji Kumar, Head, Product Management, Acer India.

Many regional and local brands are also betting big on the tablet. Peripherals maker iBall recently launched its own range of tablets called Slide. The company’s high ambition is evident from the fact that
it has signed up film star Hrithik Roshan as Slide’s brand ambassador.

“In the next six months we plan to sell 75,000 units. Considering that India is a huge mobile market and that new broadband technologies such as 3G and BWA are being rolled out, this market has the potential to grow at more than 100 percent over the next five years,” says Sandeep Parasrampuria, Director, iBall.

Another components and peripherals vendor that has ventured into the tablet market is Kobian. “We have launched the 7-inch model, mTab, priced at Rs9,499, and will launch two more variants within a month. We expect to sell 10,000 units in the first quarter, which is also the festive season. We have lined up several promotional schemes for the season,” says Sushmita Das, Country Manager India, Kobian. It expects to sell 25,000 units by the end of FY2011.

Mobile operators too are launching tablets. Reliance, Spice and Bharti Airtel have all come up with their own devices, and are promoting these with 3G connectivity. Reliance is pushing its tablet at Rs12,999 with a lock-in for certain 3G plans, while Beetel, a Bharti Enterprises Group subsidiary, has launched its Magiq brand of tablets priced at Rs9,999.

Partner play
So far, tablet sales in India have been largely driven through the telecom channels, but analysts expect this to change as the market grows and as more IT vendors get into the fray.

Kobian, for instance, is selling its products through both telecom and IT channels, and so is iBall. While Acer and Dell are focused largely on telecom channels, they too have appointed select IT retailers for their tablet range.

Samsung recently appointed Compuage and Rashi Peripherals for distributing Samsung mobile devices in the Delhi/NCR region.

“Since the tablet is a PC-mobile convergence device and our strength is in IT channels, we are selling it through both the IT as well as telecom channels,” explains Kobian’s Das.

Many IT retailers too have realized that this is a high-growth category and have started selling tablets. “I started selling the Galaxy Tab two months back and am clocking 25-30 units every month. A large number of our customers, who already have a notebook, want the tablet as an on-the-move device,” says Bhavin Prasad, CEO of Mumbai-based Raj NX.

Prasad has trained one executive on Android; the executive can give a live demo of features to customers, besides downloading software for them from the Android marketplace. “Many customers have told us that we do a better job of introducing them to tablets than authorized telecom retailers do,” he says.

Ahmedabad-based E Mission is another reseller which sells tablets. “People prefer less expensive tablets but they also do not want to compromise on the performance and applications. Every month we sell around 15-20 tablets, both iPads and Galaxy Tabs, and this number is growing steadily. We make a profit margin that ranges from Rs500 to Rs1,500 per tablet,” discloses Kalpesh K Soni, CEO, E Mission.

Retailers also expect the tablet accessory market to bring in good revenue as volumes grow. “As in the case of smartphones, tablets will provide us good sales of accessories like leather covers, Bluetooth headsets, 3G dongles (for tablets that only have Wi-Fi connectivity), etc,” says Soni.

Enterprise mobility solutions
According to Gartner, of the 326 million tablets that will be sold in 2015, nearly 25 percent will be bought by enterprise users. In this space, currently, a media tablet is mainly used as a notebook companion, as a secondary device to take on the road or use for fast access to email, calendar, Web apps, information sources and PowerPoint presentations.

However, with cloud computing gaining ground and the availability of more mobile enterprise apps, media tablets will play an increasingly important role in the enterprise space.

Samsung India, for one, is seeing tablets becoming a part of mobility solutions. The company recently executed a sales force automation project for FMCG major Hindustan Unilever; the project included a large number of tablets apart from smartphones.

“We see mobility solutions as a big market for our mobile devices and are investing heavily in creating this market. The Unilever project provides a strong referral case for us to take it to other such companies,” says Ranjit Yadav, Director, IT & Mobility, Samsung India.

Going forward
Being a nascent market, the tablet space is expected to see a lot of changes in terms of technology as well as consumer usage and acceptance.

Says iBall’s Parasrampuria, “With more applications and possibilities for every type of user, this product is sure to impress and be useful to everyone, especially those on the move.”

Dell believes that mobility will dictate the form factor of computing devices in the years to follow. “We expect to see a proliferation of devices in different screen sizes to meet different needs as the accessibility of information-on-the-go becomes inevitable,” says Krishnakumar.

Other changes expected in tablets include the use of dual-core processors for more speed and further choice in operating systems.

Many believe that with growing competition and higher volumes, tablet prices may come down further, even for some high-end products. Says Saji Kumar of Acer, “As economies of scale come into play, prices will go down. If volumes pick up, there’s the possibility that tablets will be available at the same price-points as netbooks are today.”

source : crn
Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock