Even as International Data Corporation (IDC) claimed that local player iBall overtook Samsung as India’s most popular tablet brand last quarter, IDC’s rival and former partner CyberMedia has released numbers that show Samsung on top.
CyberMedia Research is today an independent technology market intelligence firm and tracks tablet and phone shipments in India, among other things.
According to CyberMedia Research, Samsung did see an erosion in its market share, but still retained the top spot (see pic).
Samsung, which had 25% of India’s tablet shipments by volume in the first quarter of 2014, saw its share decline to 18% by the last quarter. In comparison, IDC claims that Samsung’s share in the final quarter was just 12.9%.
Remember that these numbers take into account only the number of tablets sold, and not their value. The average price of a tablet sold by Indian vendors would be in the range of 7,000 or so, while for Samsung, it would be around 13,000 or so.
So, in terms of value, Samsung would have a far higher share of the market than anyone else.
Still, in terms of numbers, both research firms show the Korean major seeing a substantial dip compared to where it was a year earlier, though they differ in the extent.
At the second position is Datawind, which makes the Aakash and Ubislate brand of tablets, with a 14% share, according to CyberMedia Research. According to IDC, the second place, of course, belonged to Samsung.
The first place, according to IDC, belonged to iBall with a market share of 15.6%, while iBall was at the third place according to CyberMedia research with a market share of 12%. According to IDC, Datawind, with a 9.6% share, occupied the third slot.
“The incumbent, early mover brands managed to maintain their leadership positions during the year, but the market seemed to signal movement along a different trajectory,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.
“Enterprises contributed about 21% of the total tablet PC shipments in India during CY 2014. This, coupled with availability of Windows based solutions helped mainstream players like Lenovo, HP and Dell make strong inroads into this device category.”
“So, while 2015 is a challenging year for players like Samsung, Datawind and Micromax, it is equally going to throw up a challenge to Google to maintain its dominance through Android OS and not lose out to Microsoft Windows, as the enterprise adoption of Tablets picks up further,” he added.
CyberMedia Research pointed out that the tablet market in India is declining.
According to it, the country’s tablets market saw a decline of 9.2% in full-year 2014 over 2013, with shipments touching 3.89 million units during the period.
Of this 1.93 million were 3G Tablets, accounting for 49.7% of all shipments. However, the 3G tablets segment grew fast at 43.5% over 2013.
Sachin Mehta, Analyst for Tablet PCs at CMR, expressed concern over the declining trends in Tablet PC shipments in the consumer segment.
“The pace and momentum of Tablet PC adoption had moved at a fast pace in India and continued for a few years. Industry players expected this trend to continue unabated, but were unprepared by the success of Phablets, that basically cannibalised tablet sales in 2014.
“This calls for Tablet designers to speed up innovation and stop offering just ‘a large screen size smartphone’. The space needs to be re-invented, with an Indian context. Certainly, content consumption needs to be the focus whether it is for entertainment, gaming, education or personal productivity.”
“One of the possible ways of differentiating Tablets is perhaps for industry to discontinue the production of 7-inch devices, to give target buyers a noticeable difference in look-and-feel, compared to Phablets that are essentially of the order of 5 to 6 inch screen size.
“This move may affect the market for some time, as the 7 inch form factor still contributes 72% of sales, but will serve the cause of the product category in the long run,” he concluded.