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Indian tablet shipments down 19% in Q4 2016 due to demonetization: IDC

Tablet shipments in India dropped by 3.1% annually to 3.7 million units during the calendar year 2016 (CY16), when compared to CY15, research firm IDC said in a report. Shipments were also down by 19.6% QoQ at 0.82 million units during Q4 2016, primarily due to “decline after the festival season spike in Q3 and demonetization limiting consumer sales,” IDC added. On a YoY basis, tablet shipments dipped by 4.3% in Q4 2016.

Demonetization has also affected the Indian PC market for two consecutive quarters: In Q4 2016, the PC market suffered a 23% QoQ decline, while in Q3 2016, PC shipments were down by 22.5% YoY. The smartphone market in India was also impacted by demonetization as shipments declined by 20.3% QoQ during Q4 2016.

4G tablets accounted for 25% of overall shipments

The research firm said that 4G tablet shipments accounted for almost 1/4th (25%) of overall shipments during 2016, up from a 6% share in 2015. In the previous quarter (Q3 2016), 4G supported devices accounted for 25% of the market, growing 55% QoQ.  Samsung led the 4G segment in the same quarter.

Shipments by category

Although overall tablet shipments have been impacted negatively, the commercial market category registered a 35% growth in terms of shipments annually during 2016.  In the previous quarter, shipments from the commercial segment grew by 20% QoQ, and also contributed to a majority of detachable tablet shipments.

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During 2016, detachable category reported the highest growth with shipments growing 30.7% annually “driven by demand coming from both consumer and commercial segments,” IDC said. Acer led the detachable category shipments, accounting for almost 25% of the product category. Apple’s iPad Pro held the second position in the detachable category.

Shipments by vendors

Datawind held the first place in terms of shipments with a 28.2% market share during Q4 2016. However, the company posted a 16% QoQ decline. Datawind’s shipped more than 1 million units in 2016, led by a low average price of $52 and the vendor’s tie-ups with telcos for free bundled data.

Samsung took the second place with a 17.4% market share during Q4 2016. The company’s market share in India declined by 21% QoQ “due to poor consumer sales,” according to IDC.

Lenovo held the third place with market share of 16.9% during the quarter. The company’s market share increased by 9.5% QoQ, primarily led by commercial sales and due to the festival demand spike.

iBall slipped to the fourth position with a 13.9% market share during the quarter. The vendor’s shipments were down by 20.6% QoQ. However, on a YoY basis, iBall’s shipments shot up by 34%, primarily led by 4G tablet sales.  “iBall led the 4G tablets shipments amongst Indian vendors with almost half of vendor’s shipments coming from LTE-based devices,” IDC said.

Apple surpassed Micromax to take the 5th position with a 7.3% market share during Q4 2016. The company’s shipments grew by 12% QoQ, primarily led by iPad Air 2 sales, which counted for half of its shipments. The latest iPad Pro model accounted for 22.7% of its overall shipments during the same quarter.

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