India's tablet market registered a decline of 3.1 percent in 2016. According to the IDC, the tablet shipment (which includes slate and detachables) came in at 3.7 million units last year. The research firm said the demand for tablets continued to shrink.
Low-cost tablet maker Datawind leads the segment with 27.6 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 16.3 percent share and Lenovo at 13.4 percent. Local players iBall and Micromax round up the top-five list for the year 2016. "Commercial shipments grew over 35 percent annually to offset declining consumer shipments to a large extent," said Navkendar Singh, Senior Research Manager, IDC India.
In Q4 2016, the total tablet shipments came in at 0.82 million units, registered a 19.6 percent drop over previous quarter. Apple managed to gain 7.3 percent market share last quarter, while Datawind and Samsung's sales saw double digit decline.
"Detachables category grew annually by a healthy 30.7 percent. Detachables shipments is led by Acer which accounted for almost one fourth of the product category followed by Apple's Ipad Pro," Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a press statement.
Datawind shipped over a million units in 2016 to maintain the leadership position. The low-cost tablet maker has been gaining market share with low average ASP of around $52 and free internet access. IDC says the vendor is only catering to first-time buyers from the deeper pockets of India.
Samsung continues to maintain its second place with healthy growth in commercial tablet sales. "Samsung is likely to strengthen its commercial business and detachable portfolio with new product launches in 2017," says IDC. In Q4 2016, Lenovo dethroned iBall as the third largest tablet vendor with renewed push in commercial segment. Apple also made it to the top 5 with the iPad Air 2 continuing to be its top selling model, while the iPad Pro accounts for 22.7 percent of India's total detachable category in 2016.
"4G based tablets ramped sharply accounting for almost one fourth of total tablet shipments in 2016 against a mere 6 percent in the previous year. Recently, there is an increase in adoption of larger screen tablets in commercial segment we expect this to grow further in coming quarters. Detachables are expected to continue with healthy double digit growth in 2016," Karthik added.
IDC estimates consumer demand for tablets will continue to decline, while commercial shipments will balance the overall segment. The research firm observes that large screen smartphones make tablets irrelevant for consumers.