Dual-sim, 3G help tablets regain growth as phablets proliferate

Samsung continued to hold the top slot in the Indian tablet market that doubled year-over-year, CyberMedia Research said in its updated Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review.

Samsung held a share of 21.2% in the June quarter of 2013, down slightly from 23.9% it held in the September quarter of 2012.

Micromax, which was number 2 in Sept 2012 with a 15.3% share, fell to number 3, with just 9.7% share. In March 2013 quarter, Micromax had a 12.3% share.

The second slot was occupied by Datawind, which markets the Ubislate brand of tablets. It had a 12.5% share in the June quarter, down from 15.3% in the March quarter.

The numbers indicated that the big brands are losing market share even as the overall market is increasing in size. It may also be noted that Chinese vendor Lenovo has been aggressively targeting the Indian tablet space, launching several models and increasing ad spend.

Tablets have sold in the range of 1 million units per quarter for the last several quarters, except in Q1, when they dipped to about 900,000. In the June quarter, 1.15 million tablets were sold in India, more than double of what was sold in the June quarter of 2012.

“2Q 2013 results have again shown that 1 million units a quarter is a sustainable number, which is a healthy indicator about adoption of the Tablet form factor in India in less than three years,”  Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said. “If this trend continues to build up, I see adoption picking up and just a few quarters from now we should see shipment of significantly higher volumes.”

It was expected that the market may see a slowdown as the novelty factor wears off tablets. Tablets have increasingly come under pressure from large-sized phones, known as phablets, which are now available in the six-inch form factor.

Given that phablets offer longer battery life, built-in 3G and voice calling facility and are easier to carry, many customers opt for such big phones instead of 7-inch tablets. However, the market for the larger 10-inch tablet remains.

CyberMedia Research pointed out that certain innovations in the tablet market has helped beat the fatigue.

“This is the first quarter when Tablets with dual-SIM functionality arrived in the India market, thereby giving vendors an additional specification to differentiate their offerings,”  Tarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice said. “An important factor for increase in 3G-enabled Tablet shipments is the growing data consumption amongst telecom subscribers to access social media networks and IM accounts, play online games, keep up with corporate and personal mail or simply browse the web for information on the go.

“It will be interesting to see if there are any significant shifts in Tablet shipments in the forthcoming quarters. With the requirement for mandatory adherence to BIS certification it will be difficult for vendors who do not get their products BIS-approved to sell in India. This may lead to some consolidation in the India Tablets market in the short- to medium-term,” he added.


BRAND Sept 2012 March 2013 June 2013
Samsung 23.9% NA 21.2%
Micromax 15.3% 12.3% 9.7%
Datawind 12.3% 15.3% 12.5%