India registered 1.20 million tablet shipments for the period July-September (Q3) 2013, posting only a moderate 9% growth year-on-year (YoY) from 1.1 million tablet shipments during July-September 2012 and a moderate 4.7% growth quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) from 1.15 million tablet shipments during April – June 2013, according to CyberMedia Research’s Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review.
The firm attributed this modest growth to limited offerings from vendors struggling with BIS certification guidelines. It mentions that around 43 domestic and international vendors shipped tablets to the Indian market during the quarter, although only 13 vendors shipped in significant volumes of more than 20,000 units during the period. In comparison, around 70 domestic and international vendors had shipped tablets to the Indian market in the previous quarter.
Note that the government had earlier ordered that 15 categories of electronic and IT products (which includes tablets) sold in India after April 2013 should carry BIS certification. The deadline was later extended to July 2013 (pdf). However Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) and electronic product manufacturers like Lenovo had pointed out that the deadline was impractical and could lead to a severe shortage of products in the Indian market, as indicated by a Times Of India report.
Following this, the government provided (pdf) a three months extension to October 2013 and an additional extension of three months to January 2014, which the government mentioned would be the last extension to manufacturers. Therefore its quite possible that the growth of tablet shipments could decline further in the forthcoming quarters, unless the rate of manufacturers securing the BIS certification increases significantly.
Samsung Is Largest Player
Samsung retained its top spot in the country, although its contribution to the total tablet shipments declined to 15% for the quarter, from 21.2% share in the previous quarter. Lenovo took the second spot with 13.3% share for the quarter while Datawind slipped to third position accounting for 12.4% of the tablet shipments for the quarter. Note that Datawind numbers excludes the sales of Aakash tablets to Govt. of India.
The top three vendors combined accounted for 40.7% of the total tablet shipments, while the top five vendors accounted for 58.7% of the total shipments. The 13 vendors which shipped in significant volumes during the quarter represented 87.8% of the total shipments.
Enterprise tablets: CMR also mentioned that enterprise tablets accounted for 20% of the total tablet shipments for the quarter.
Methodology: CMR uses the term shipments to describe the number of tablets leaving the factory premises for OEM sales or stocking by distributors and retailers. In the case of tablets imported into the country it represents the number leaving the first warehouse to OEMs, distributors and retailers. The company does not track the number of tablets brought on their person by individual passengers landing on Indian soil from overseas destinations or grey market handsets and MediaNama is not in a position to verify the accuracy of the findings.