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Tablet Market in Malaysia Grew 20 Percent

Tablet market in Malaysia grew 20 percent to reach USD 182 million in first five months of 2013: GfK

7 inch screen size, Wi-Fi only tablets gain popularity

Nearly 450,000 tablets flew off the shelves in the January to May this year, over 170,000 or 61 percent more compared to the first five months of last year. GfK retail audit findings on tablet sales showed at least 78,000 tablets being snapped up monthly since beginning of the year, with the highest sales garnered being 97,000 within the month of May alone.

In the span of the last 12 months, a gradual declining price trend is seen for tablets, from USD 497 in June 2012 to the most recent month of May where average price of tablets reached a low of USD 397—reflecting a substantial price drop of 20 percent in a year.

“The immense popularity of tablets in Malaysia and around the region has created much buzz in the market and has intensified competition among key players who are offering new models and attractive promotions in their quest for share of the consumer dollar,” said Selinna Chin, Managing Director for GfK in Malaysia. “For instance, smaller tablets have started surging in popularity recently, thanks to lower pricings driven by stiff competition in the market.”

In the first five months of this year, demand for 7 inch and below tablet screen size segment has generally been exhibiting a consistent growth in sales volume from some 37,000 units in January to around 57,000 in May. This uptrend corresponds with the gradual lowering of prices for such tablets, from USD 474 in January to USD 397 by May. This preference for smaller tablets has also been shrinking the market share of the bigger tablets.

This year, 8 – 9.9 inch tablets registered a lunge in market share from 38 percent in 2012 to 16 percent this year.

Another notable trend is the recent increase take-up of Wi-Fi only models. GfK reports showed a 3 percent jump in overall volume share of this segment from 22 percent in June 2012—November 2012 to 25 percent in December 2012—May 2013.

“The vast improvement in wireless broadband in Malaysia has increased the number of hotspots available, which helps drive the uptake of Wi-Fi only models especially with its lower price tag,” observed Chin. “Another key factor is the high penetration rate of smartphones in the country which serves to facilitate tethering and do away with the need for an external Internet connection.”

According to the latest GfK report for the month of May, the Malaysian tablet arena consists of 142 tablet models spanning 44 local and international brands.

“We foresee more brands foraying into the Malaysian tablet market and giving the existing big players a run for their money,” Chin said. “Prices will continue to fall, along with the introduction of more new features to step up the intensity of competition and make the marketplace a more exciting one for consumers,” She concluded.