Bangalore, June 8, 2014: A government certification requirement coupled with customer preference for phablets or phone-cum-tablets, have contributed to sluggish sales of tablets PCs in India in the first three months of the year.
According to the International Data Corporation, the India tablet market shipments for Q1 2014 stood at 0.78 million units, representing a year-on-year drop of -32.8% over Q1 2013. The drop was primarily due to lack of new buyers in the market.
“The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) compliance is certainly hurting the white-box market. International device vendors like Apple and Samsung grew in comparison against Q4 2013, posting significant double-digit growth rates in Q1. However at an overall level, the branded vendors were unable to capitalize on the space left vacant by the erosion from white-box and smaller vendors,” says Karan Thakkar, Senior Market Analyst of Tablets, Enterprise Client Devices and PC Monitors at IDC India.
Samsung clearly led the tablet market in India. The strong performance of the brand in Q1 was supported by the good presence it held in the 7-8 inch screen size category. Presence in this particular screen size works as a double-edged sword, while the price conscious consumers would not mind paying the premium for an international brand like Samsung; consumers with deep pockets considering tablet as a third device would not mind shelling out more for a branded product in their maiden purchase.
Apple's iPad mini continued to perform well in the market. Initial response for iPad Air also helped Apple post a strong quarter.
Micromax took the third spot and accounted for 8.8% of the market share. However, in terms of volume growth, Q1 2014 proved to be a bit slower period for Micromax. Almost two-thirds of their volume was fueled by a new model, which the company had rolled out earlier in Q1.
IDC India Forecasts:
IDC anticipates the overall tablet market to hover around the same mark as reported in Q1 2014. There are few inhibitors to the growth:
Phablets: Emerge of Phablets (screen size 5.5 to 6.99 inch), continues to haunt the consumer decision making proces.
BIS certification embossing issue: Another looming issue is the revised labeling guidelines for BIS certification of IT products. Most of the tablet vendors import shipments. Any alteration to the hardware design of the product has to be done at the source location, which in turn will pose a threat to the supply chain and there will be a direct impact on the launch of a product in a different market and its availability in India