Tablets are emerging as a very important product category in India. A very good indication of this is Apple’s launch of iPad 2 in India. When Apple enters the Indian market, then we know we have a winner. As per the BS article, India’s tablet could be 1 million strong market by end of 2011. There were estimates that 6000-8000 tablets are sold in India, which isn’t much. Looks like the curve has kicked up a bit. As per this HT article, there will be 0.6 million installed base of tablets by the end of 2011. Irrespective of what these reports conflicting numbers, tablet consumption will be on the rise.
What will drive tablet sales in India?
Price. There are other factors like the features, app market but price will be the single biggest driver for tablet sales in India. The 10K-20K price range is a virgin market right now. It is just waiting to be tapped. A lot of companies are preparing themselves to launch in that space. This will definitely not come from the global majors like Apple, Samsung and HTC but it will come from desi companies like Spice, Karbonn, Lava and Micromax.
iPad 2’s success in India
To give an indication of India’s appetite, Apple has shipped 20,000 iPad 2’s to India and they were all sold out in 72 hours flat. Now there is a 15-21 day waiting period for iPad 2’s. Such is the demand. Though artificial demand is created by constraining the supply.
iPad 2’s success tells one thing. People will pay for the right product. iPad 2 arguable the best tablet out there which is priced appropriately. The base version costs Rs. 29500 which is affordable to quite a few people.
Tablets to replace PC’s
This day isn’t very far. Notion Ink’s Adam has shown what a tablet can do. With an external keyboard and mouse plugged into the usb ports, the Tablet quickly turns to become a netbook kind of device. If you are feeling lucky, you can just unplug it and take it along for some media consumption. For tablets to be successful in India, they should target the PC and laptop customers and not the tablet customers. Adam is one such example. Yet another case is the ZL101 tablet from Zinglife. This tablet has a RJ45 port to plugin in your broadband cable. Who would have thunk that? I know tablets are not meant for being non-mobile but what’s stopping the manufacturers from providing stuff like that? Nothing. Someone has to try it and see if it clicks.
With a few little tweaks to the current crop of tablets, I already see a great potential for tablets in India.