Dec 19, 2011

Low cost tablet PC market hots up in India

THE TABLET PC market is all geared up for intense competition in 2012, which is a major jolt, expected in the very first month when Aakash, the world’s cheapest tablet PC, launches early January.

It is estimated that more than 8,000 tablet PCs are sold everyday in India. With the arrival of Aakash, the existing low-cost tablet market in India is expected to get a huge fillip.

Among tablet PCs priced between Rs 3,500 and Rs 48,000 are available in market those below the Rs 10,000 price, seem to be a great hit with the consumers.

As per the data available with Computer Market Research (CMR), Indian consumers will buy around 85,000 tablet PCs in 2012, figures which attracted over 15 players into the category.

By 2017, the number of tablets sold in India will reach approximately 23.38 million as its sales are expected to roughly double every year, said industry experts.

In 2012, many more Indian and Chinese vendors like Micromax, G’Five, and Karbonn, etc, are expected to enter the market.

While global vendors like Apple, Samsung, RIM, and Motorola cater to the high-end segment of tablet PCs priced between Rs 29,000 to Rs 48,000 many Indian players including, Reliance Communications, Beetel, Wespro, LACs Magnum cater to the middle and low segments.

According to Frost & Sullivan, Indians bought three lakh units of tablets in 2011 compared to around 60,000 tablets in 2010.

Unveiled in October, lowest priced tablet, Datawind’s Aakash, is available for purchase online for students with the price being as low as Rs 2,500. The commercial version of the Aakash tablet – UbiSlate 7 – priced at Rs 3,000, is expected to hit stores and e-commerce portals by January.

“Datawind first wants to build its name in the education sector before diversifying and catering to corporates”, said Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, Datawind.

Lakshmi Access Communications Systems (LACs), a Benagluru-based company, has its tablet range called Magnum starting Rs 6,999.

As per Computer Market Research data, around 85,000 tablet PCs are expected to be sold in India in 2012

“The tablet market is in a very nascent stage with lots of players vying for customer attention. Actual market share figures can only be realised in the following year,” informed Sharad Satyanarayan, head, Business Development, LACs.

“We did sell our first lot of 5,000 units of tablet PCs in a very short period and now we have plans to sell our tablets through over 10,000 special experience zones called ‘easyez’,” he added.

Talking about the new competitor in market, Satyanarayan said Aakash has a completely different market and technical focus. “It is too early to gauge its efficacy. Consequently, it is not possible to compare different tablet PC brands purely on the basis of technical specifications and features,” he said.

Beetel Magiq, a tablet PC by Bharti Group has its range starting from Rs 9,800.

“Just in a span of four months, we have launched three models in India. The response to low-cost tablet PCs has been overwhelming and we see the market growing manifold next year,” said Satyajit Borah, head, Corporate Communications, Beetel.

With an eye on corporate as their potential buyers, Simmtronics tablet PCs have gained 300 per cent growth in their sales in the last few months. “Though our tablet PCs are ranged between Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000, we have all the same prominent features like Samsung tabs,” claimed Inderjit Saberwal, managing director, Simmtronics Semiconductors Ltd.

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