Tablets are tiny in India, but at least there's good news for RIM's PlayBook

by Doug Drinkwater

May 17 2012

ABI Research’s latest study into the tablet market of India highlights the global domination of Apple and Samsung, but underlines a surprisingly strong showing from RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.

As with the rest of the world, the Indian market is led by Apple’s iPad, which had a 51% slice of the market in 2011, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab range, with 24%. RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook had a myriad of problems last year but the never ending price cuts saw this particular device take a 10.4% market share, to become the third largest player in India.

Despite all the success for the bigger brands, there was some disappointment that the budget tablets had not caught the public’s attention, despite the plethora of affordable Android slates available on the market, including from the likes of Micromax and Zync. For ABI Research, this segment could actually do more harm than good in the long run, with the firm suggesting the poor user experience might turn users away from buying any tablets.

“Although there is lot of buzz in the Indian market, media tablets are yet to demonstrate their value proposition to Indian consumers,” said research analyst, Aishwarya Singh.

“While there are several media tablets being launched in the sub-$200 price range, simply lowering the average selling price of media tablets may not lead to the desired growth in the market.” 

ABI Research believes that total tablet shipments reached just 390,000 in 2011; an incredibly small number given the same firm says 65 million shipped globally in the same year.

However, the group believes the segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71% in India, with shipments set to grow to 9.66 million by 2017.

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