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Tablet Shipments in India Fell 3.1% in 2016

Drop attributed to rise of larger smartphones and demonetization

March 15, 2017 | Mobile

The market for tablets appears to be dwindling in India. According to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), 3.7 million tablets shipped in the market in 2016, a dip of 3.1% from 2015’s 3.9 million shipments.

Tablet Shipments in India, 2015 & 2016 (millions and % change)

Tablets have always trailed smartphones in terms of penetration in India. eMarketer estimates just 5.5% of the country’s population will use tablets on a monthly basis this year, while 20.8% will own a smartphone and use it monthly.

IDC attributed the decline in tablet shipments to a few factors. First, demand for the form factor has diminished, as smartphones with larger screens make their way into the hands of consumers.

But IDC also found that demonetization, the surprise move by the Indian government in November 2016 to stop recognizing two high-denomination cash notes, also led to a drop in demand for tablets. In fact, tablet shipments fell 19.6% between Q3 2016 and Q4 2016—largely due to demonetization, which left many consumers in the heavily cash-reliant country using what money they had to purchase necessities. The decline was also attributed to a normal cyclical drop in purchases in the last quarter of the year, after the conclusion of the festival holiday retail season in Q3.

Canada’s Datawind accounted for more than one-quarter (27.6%) of tablets shipped in India last year, making it the market leader. South Korea-based Samsung was in second place with a 16.3% share, followed by China’s Lenovo (13.4%), and domestic companies iBall (12.8%) and Micromax (9.7%).

—Rahul Chadha

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