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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tablets sale rises by 68 per cent

Tablets
Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012 figures, according to Gartner.com. It was learnt that while sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, iOS’s share declined to 36 per cent. Gartner.com also reports that the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first-time buyers fuelled the tablet growth in 2013; this led Android to become the number one tablet operating system (OS), with 62 per cent of the market. “In 2013, tablets became a mainstream phenomenon, with a vast choice of Android-based tablets being within the budget of mainstream consumers while still offering adequate specifications,” said Miss Roberta Cozza,a research director at Gartner.com. “As the Android tablet market becomes highly commoditised, in 2014, it will be critical for vendors to focus on device experience and meaningful technology and ecosystem value — beyond just hardware and cost — to ensure brand loyalty and improved margins,” said Miss Cozza. It was gathered that in 2013, the share of Apple’s iOS dropped 16.8 percentage points as the market demand was driven by the improved quality of smaller low-cost tablets from branded vendors, and white-box products continued to grow in emerging markets. Gartner.com analysts said emerging markets recorded growth of 145 per cent in 2013, while mature markets grew 31 per cent. “Apple’s tablets remain strong in the higher end of the market and Apple’s approach will continue to force vendors to compete with full ecosystem offerings, even in the smaller-screen market as the iPad mini sees a greater share,” Cozza said. She also said that in 2013, Microsoft’s tablet volumes improved but share remained small. She said, “Despite Microsoft now acting more rapidly to evolve Windows 8.1, its ecosystem still failed to capture major consumers’ interest on tablets. “To compete, Microsoft needs to create compelling ecosystem proposition for consumers and developers across all mobile devices, as tablets and smartphones become key devices for delivering applications and services to users beyond the PC.” She added that Microsoft enjoyed better shares in ultramobiles that are more productivity- oriented, where its partners are ramping up new-form factors and designs. “The tablet market has become a challenging environment for branded hardware-driven players. Service-driven and content-driven players, and aggressive prices from white-box vendors squeeze them. “In addition, a situation where the top two tablet vendors have captured 55 per cent of the market in 2013 compounds the challenge,” she added. From a vendor perspective, Apple’s strong fourth quarter helped it to maintain the top position in the market in 2013. Samsung, ranked number two, exhibited the highest growth of the worldwide tablet vendors, at 336 per cent, in 2013. The expansion and improvement of its Galaxy tablet portfolio, together with strong marketing and promotions, helped Samsung shrink the gap with Apple. In line with its smartphone approach, it was gathered that Samsung’s segmentation of its tablet portfolio helped it to offer a wider size and price choice but also helped it to test the market and find niches. Among the vendors that have a less than six per cent share of the worldwide tablet market, Lenovo did particularly well in 2013 with tablet sales growing 198 per cent. “Lenovo‘s success is a combination of launching innovative new tablet models during the second half of 2013 and the sales of its Yoga model and Windows tablets doing particularly well,” said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner. She said, “Moreover, Lenovo’s strong R&D capabilities and its ability to react quickly to tablet market dynamics have helped it to introduce innovative and a range of attractive products to the market. However, establishing a strong brand with consumers outside China, which is especially important in the tablet market, remains a key challenge.”

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