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Will tablets take over PCs in India?

Last updated on: May 31, 2011 14:26 IST

Will tablets take over PCs in India?

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Bibhu Ranjan Mishra, Pradeesh Chandran in Bangalore

Tablet personal computers (PCs), such as Apple's iPad might have taken the global consumer PC market by storm, but the effect might not entirely be the same in India.

Leading PC vendors and analysts are of the opinion that Indian market is not yet ready for tablet PCs.

"Tablets are highly-priced and have got acceptance only in developed countries. In India, IT penetration is quite low and people in many parts of the country are still new to computing, which is why tablets are yet to make a mark. So, they prefer desktops as their first computing device," says S Rajendran, chief marketing officer, Acer India.

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Agrees Amit Midha, President, Consumer and SMB, APJ, Dell. "I have not seen any projection about tablets having any visible impact on PC sales in India. Though, desktops and laptops will continue to grow in the Indian market at least for the next 3-4 years other than smartphones."

Currently, close to 200-250 million notebooks are sold annually across the globe, as compared to 40-50 million tablet PCs.

Other than Apple iPad, other tablet PCs available in India include the Samsung Galaxy Tab, OlivePad, Acer Iconica, and Dell Streak among others.

Most of these are available in the price range of Rs 22,500 to Rs 36,000. Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which works on the Android operating system sells in the range of Rs 24,000-25,000.

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Photographs: Nir Elias/Reuters
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"In the price range of $500-800, tablets are a little expensive for the Indian market. Secondly, there is not much utility-based need of tablets in India, because of which people Prefer desktops. In developed markets, people buy a tablet as their second or third device," said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst, Gartner.

Analysts tracking the sector say, enterprises are the biggest consumer segment for iPad in India, contrary to the global trend.

"When the tablet PC arrived in India, people thought the consumer segment will buy it, which is not the case. The buying is happening in the enterprise segment, both because of affordability and utility," said Tripathi.

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While declining to give the exact number of iPad 2 units  sold in India, a spokesperson for Apple said that the first stock was sold out within a couple of hours of its launch.

Industry experts say as iPad is not on the open platform and does not allow a user to download third-party content, it has limited acceptance in India.

Plus, its content is mostly US-specific and Indian consumers are more comfortable with devices using open platform that gives them access to contents from all over.

 



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