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Tablets: Lenovo Dethrones Datawind

According to CMR’s India Tablet, PC Market Review market witnessed a 28% sequential growth in 2H CY2017, recorded 1.8 Mn unit shipments. Lenovo replaced Datawind as the market leader with a 21% market share. Samsung was at the number two spot followed by Datawind.

The rise of Lenovo is attributed to strong B2B sales in the second half of 2017. Lenovo witnessed 114% sequential growth in its shipments in 2H CY2017. Shipments of Samsung witnessed 39% sequential growth in 2H CY2017 whereas Datawind’s shipments declined sequentially by 35%. Major Indian brands Datawind, iBall and Forster shipped one out of three tables in 2H CY2017.

Lenovo’s Tab 3 7 shared honor to be the fast moving model with 163% sequential growth in its shipments in 2H CY2017. Acer forayed into top vendors with its deal with Gujarat government for education segment. Its model One 7 M77GHG was another major contributor to the tablet market.

Technology Trends

4G became a leading technology, while 3G and 2G tablets witnessed the decline in their respective market shares. Shipments of 4G tablets improved by 51% in 2H CY2017. Lenovo shipped almost half of 4G tablets in 2H CY2017.

Price Band Analysis

In 2H CY2017 tablets in the price range of 5K-10K became the major contributor with a 47% market share with 118% sequential growth accredited to the B2B business of Lenovo and Acer. Entry level tablets (<5K) witnessed a 35% decline in 2H CY2017 when compared to a previous half year. Shipments of 20K-30K grew doubled fold on its small base due to improved sales of Apple.

Major Specification Trends

India’s Tablet PC Market witnessed 10% decline in 1Q CY2018 when compared to 4Q CY2017, according to CMR’s Tablet PC Market report review for March 2018. According to Menka Kumari, Analyst-IIG, CyberMedia Research,

“Keeping in with the trends of 1Q over the past years, the first quarter was predictably slow. Vendors were busy clearing the previous stock than focusing on getting fresh shipments. Interestingly, a new breed of enterprise users, including restaurant managers, traffic police, salesmen, courier men, and e-commerce delivery boys, have emerged as an attractive bet for tablet companies. This segment will witness further traction in the coming quarters, with new enterprise use cases springing forth”.

The tablet market was dominated by Lenovo, Samsung and Datawind

According to Menka, “Lenovo’s introduction of its tablets in the educational segment, catering to Akash and FIITJEE, has helped the product company grow its base in the education sector in 1Q CY2018. Moreover, Lenovo’s new launch, the Tab 4 series, has largely helped in boosting the 4G tablet market. Growth and demand from the B2B market is another reason for the strong growth of the tablet market. To add, Samsung is largely grown in its INR 15K price band of the tablet market, whereas Datawind’s 13% of its tablet sales were in the education sector.”

“Datawind’s strategy of keeping its products cost-effective has encouraged students to use them. The retail market has mostly been dominated by Datawind and iBall which is notably not present in the B2B market,” said Kumari.

Future Outlook

In the coming quarter, the B2B market will gain mostly on the back of government initiatives in the education sector. Central and State governments, such as Bihar and Gujarat Governments, have been promoting digital-led education
through various government schemes, enabling colleges and schools of learning to go for tablets.

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