India tab market slips over 32% in Q1; growth may evade in 2014

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Tablet market in India declined by over 32 per cent to 0.78 million units in January-March this year as it continued to struggle to attract buyers, research firm IDC said today.

Going ahead this year, the firm said it expects the market to face similar headwinds on account of rising popularity of phablets and the issue of Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) certification.

"The India tablet market shipments for Q1 2014 stood at 0.78 million units, representing a year-on-year drop of 32.8 per cent over Q1 2013. The drop was primarily due to lack of new buyers in the market," IDC said.

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, it added.

"However at an overall level, the branded vendors were unable to capitalise on the space left vacant by the erosion from white-box and smaller vendors," IDC India Senior Market Analyst of Tablets, Enterprise Client Devices and PC Monitors Karan Thakkar said.

IDC anticipates the overall tablet market to hover around the same mark as reported in Q1 2014. There are few inhibitors to the growth.

Emergence of phablets (screen size 5.5-6.99-inch), continues to haunt the consumer decision making process, it said.

"Another looming issue is the revised labelling 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," IDC added.

In Q1 2014, Samsung led the tablet market in India with 22.5 per cent share followed by Apple (14.4 per cent), Micromax (8.8 per cent) and Datawind (6.8 per cent).

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