Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia fastest growing markets
63% of SEA sales were of media tablets priced below US$300
MEDIA tablets continue to be in strong demand across the South-East Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines in 2014 as consumers bought over 3.6 million of the popular gadget in the first four months of this year.
Valued at US$935 million, nearly 980,000 more media tablets were sold this year compared with the same timeframe in 2013, an 8% increase, said market research firm GfK.
The fastest growing markets in the region are Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, with exponential volume growth of 151%, 82% and 82% respectively.
With over 1.45 million units sold to generate over US$252 million, Indonesia is the largest market for media tablets, accounting for 43% of total sales volume in the region, GfK said.
“Four of the developing countries showed strong double- to triple-digit growth in media tablet sales volume as consumers are still lapping up this new technology,” said Gerard Tan, account director for Digital World at GfK.
“The market was negatively impacted in Thailand due to the political unrest in the country which has affected consumer spending to some extent, but we expect sales to revert to normal once the situation stabilizes,” he added.
GfK findings revealed an influx of entry level media tablets costing less than US$100 in the region.
While there were around 84 brands last year, the figure surged to 143 or 70% more players in the competitive market. Thailand had the largest number of low-cost media tablet brands available at 53, followed by the Philippines which reported 39 such brands.
“Media tablets were able to reach a wider range of consumer groups as prices fell below US$00 and became much more affordable and attainable to those in the less affluent developing markets,” said Tan.
“Concurrently, GfK tracking this year revealed average prices of the device falling to US$278, which is a substantial 25% lower than last year,” he added.
According to GfK reports, growth of the media tablets market in South-East Asia this year was driven by models priced below US$300, which made up more than three in every five sold (63%), a considerable development compared with last year’s 38%, the firm said.
However, within this segment, those priced between US$200 and US$300 registered the most growth at 366%; even higher than the below-US$100 segment which grew 214%.
In the biggest market of Indonesia, however, media tablets below US$100 were the growth engine, seeing a 68% increase in sales volume or an additional 656,000 units sold in 2014.
“As penetration levels are still relatively low in South-East Asia, there is still plenty of opportunities for existing and new manufacturers to compete for a piece of the pie,” said Tan.
“With consumers now presented with more options of price ranges for the popular device, the adoption of media tablets in South-East Asia will continue to see an upward trend for the rest of 2014,” he added.
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