Tablets are selling like hotcakes in South-East Asia with sales reaching $US167 million in the first four months of the year. Among the more than 10 brands available in the regional market, Android-run tablets are the favourites, according to a recent study by GfK Asia.
The region sold 261,000 units of tablet PCs during the period with nearly one in every two buyers opting for the Android tablets. In April, almost half of all tablets (46 per cent) purchased was an Android compared to five months ago when the proportion was only slightly just over one out of 10 (13 per cent), the study also showed.
"GfK's retail audit across the seven South-East Asian markets showed that similar to smartphone trends, Android operating system (OS) has also been gaining traction in the tablets arena since the last quarter of 2010," said Gerard Tan, regional account director for IT, GfK Asia. "More manufacturers are banking on the current Android craze and choosing this platform for their tablets, resulting in consumers being availed more options of Android tablets to choose from."
The seven Southeast Asian markets included in the study were Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The study also noted that 3G and 4G-enabled tablets are most popular in the region despite the relatively higher price. 3G- and 4G-enabled tablets comprised 79 per cent of overall sales in the region. GfK Asia explained that consumers in the region were encouraged to go for faster tablets since the region is all wired up for high-speed connections. Consumers also felt the need to be always connected so they opted for tablets.
But there are also affordable tablets as many manufacturers joined the competitive market after Apple introduced its iPad. These affordable tablets also contributed to the increase in sales. The average price of tablets dropped 23 per cent to US$600 in April compared to the price in January 2011.
The GfK Asia study noted differences in tablet pricing across the region. The more expensive ones were found in Indonesia while the lowest average selling models were found in the Philippines.
Moving forward, Tan said there are more exciting news for consumers in the region as manufacturers try to live up to consumer demands.
"The tablet, with its lighter and sleeker form factor, will continue to wow consumers and enjoy significant adoption in the near future," Tan said. "We can also expect manufacturers, on the other hand, to continue stimulating the market by fuelling consumer demands with more exciting features and offering them at competitive prices."