Jayanth Kolla & Vijay Ramanathan/Convergence Catalyst
09 Jan 2012
Since the release of the Apple iPad in April 2010, the tablets market has seen an explosion globally.
Samsung released its product in Q3 2010 and since then, there has been a barrage of tablets from the Android stable. The market grew from 16 million units in 2010 to 70 million (preliminary estimates) in 2011, with North America and Europe leading adoption, followed by Asia.
The west has also seen a steady adoption of these devices in key verticals such as education, healthcare, aviation and retail, with educational institutes leading the way in exploiting the functionalities that tablets have to offer.
Because tablets offer an intuitive UI, portability and instant access to digital content, they have become the ultimate all in one consumption device to serve a wide variety of use cases across key services across the entertainment, utility and productivity segments.
As for the Indian market, the Samsung Galaxy Tab had this market all to itself up until the release of the Apple iPad 2 in May 2011. The iPad 1, released at the end of its global life cycle in India, did not find too may takers.
Apple went from a minor player (Samsung had the lion’s share of over 80% between October 2010 to April 2011), to being a strong leader with over 55% share between May & September 2011. As tablets from every brand (handset and PC segments) launched in the market, the key players remained Apple and Samsung.
With over 30 Android tablets now available in the market, the platform has an edge over Apple in India cumulatively, unlike in western markets. Android tablets have also led the way for entry-level tablets, with a range of price offerings in the market in the low- (up to $250), mid- ($250-$500) and high- (over $500) end segments. But multiple Android OS release have led to fragmentation. As with other consumer markets, key success factors for tablets in India are extendable memory support, USB connectivity and a long battery life.