Tablet PCs exhibit negative growth in India, 1Q CY 2015 shows 13.9% decline in shipments

Lack of substantial incremental ‘smartness’ fails to woo consumers

  • Despite negative sentiments in the market, Samsung maintains lead and improves on market share
  • 60% of the devices shipped support Broadband Wireless Access (3G and 4G)
  • Mainstream IT vendors yet to leverage last year’s aggressive pitch: Windows still marginally present at 3.4% OS market share in 1Q CY 2015

New Delhi/Gurgaon: According to CMR’s India Quarterly Tablets Market Review, 1Q CY 2015, May 2015 release announced today, the country’s Tablet PC market registered a double-digit decline of 13.9% q-o-q in terms of unit shipments for the first time. At the same time, BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) enabled Tablets posted 60% contribution in the total shipments for the period.

Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said, “We had cautioned the industry that unless they make substantial differentiation in the value proposition for potential customers, Tablet shipments are not going to grow. This is what the results now reinforce.”

“Since there isn’t much value addition coming in the shape of specific solutions to enhance device usability at the moment, Tablets are only becoming devices of convenience, essentially larger screen versions of smartphones. This has resulted in lower priority in the list of ‘must have’ devices for the average user. Tablets only make the ‘nice-to-have’ grade.  To prevent the Tablet form factor from dying out, vendors must position their offerings as a distinct category, rather than just an also ran device at the cusp of a Smartphone and a Laptop PC,” Faisal opined.

Fig 1: India Tablet PC Market: Shipments and Vendor Shares (%), 1Q CY 2015

India Tablet PC Quarterly 1Q CY 2015_Fig1

Source: CMR’s India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, 1Q CY 2015, May 2015 release

Echoing similar views, Sachin Mehta, Analyst for Tablet PCs at CMR, said “We were hoping that the future of Tablets lies in the enterprise market and that is why we saw many mainstream IT brands aggressively launch their Tablet devices in CY 2014. Unfortunately, that momentum has not picked up. The situation calls for vendors to go back to their drawing boards and redesign the product.”

“The challenge that enterprise CIOs are facing in the adoption of Tablets is that the device does not completely act as a replacement and adding accessories such as a keyboard make it just another Laptop PC. In this scenario, Tablets are just going to end up being CxO companions, in which case I see only Apple having a bright future,” Sachin concluded.

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