by our Indian correspondent, Asif Shaik
The tablet PC market in India has enjoyed significant growth in 2013. It is expected that six million tablet units will have been shipped in 2013. According to TechSci Research, the tablet market in India generated around $2 billion revenue in 2013. Although Apple may be the King in worldwide tablet sales and revenue, the growth of tablets in India seems to be extremely favouring Android, mainly due to availability of low cost devices.
The largest contributor to the Indian tablet market has been tablets below the price tag of INR 10,000 ($200).
The most expensive tablet made by these suppliers costs INR 9000 ($143), which gives a pretty strong indication of the fact that low cost tablets continue to dominate the Indian tablet market.
While Samsung still rules the tablet market at the moment with over 19 per cent of the market, the remaining Top Five players are all manufacturers of low cost tablets.
Despite the Apple iPad’s near perfect hardware and OS, it doesn’t feature anywhere near the Top Five best selling tablets in India.
Whilst tablets are seldom used for making calls across the world, it still seems that calling is a key feature for Indian consumers.
All the top selling tablet brands in India also promote the calling facility in tablets and the list of such device is is growing with each day ( see MySmartPrice’s tablets with calling facility guide) .
The Indian market is also heavily influenced by the national government’s policy.
Thanks to the Aakash tablet initiative started by GOI,Datawind became the second largest player in 2012.
Also, the Indian government is heavily advertising use of cheap tablets for education which also means that Indian tablet market will have a huge base of young users, mostly school children in 2014.
The local governments in certain Indian states have already started special programmes to distribute low cost tablets to school children and laptops to students.
The average screen size of a phablet is fast approaching towards the 6 inch screen size while an average tablet screen measures 7 inches diagonally.
Clearly, an average Indian consumer likes making and receiving calls on an oversize phone or tablet irrespective of how odd it may look to onlookers.
The added benefit maybe the fact that tablet acts as a backup device should the smartphone’s battery run low.
Also, as a lot of Indians are primarily connected to the internet through cellular data connections.
A low cost tablet with a SIM card slot acts as an Internet connected entertainment device.