Tablet sales in Asia-Pacific have been gaining momentum, especially over the past few months, buoyed by ever-lower sales prices and new uses that increase the potential market and marketability of the devices. While tablet sales in 2011 were higher in developed AP markets than in emerging ones, we expect to see that ratio change moving forward, so that by 2016, 71.8% of tablet unit sales in AP will come from emerging markets. While the iPad was the device that launched the tablet craze, in 2012 and moving forward, other brands will capture more market share as demand for tablets at a variety of price points grows.
The role of tablets in primary and secondary education across Asia-Pacific is one important reason the devices will not be relegated to niche market status but will continue to undergo growth in sales and take root in the mass market. This trend first took root in South Korea, with the country pledging to move to an all-tablet curriculum by 2015, and has been spreading to other countries too – most notably India and Thailand. The governments of both of these countries have allocated funds to begin transitioning more and more students to tablet-based learning. We expect to see more and more schools in countries throughout the region allocate funds to tablets over the forecast period. This movement will have broader implications as well, stimulating additional demand for tablets among the families of the children receiving the tablets.
Moving forward, tablets as a platform for mobile data consumption will be a new, important source of revenue for mobile operators across Asia-Pacific. Operators have the opportunity to offer new packages to tablet owners, such as exclusive content and bundling deals, which can add value to the consumers’ relationship with the operator, decreasing churn. Tablets have been growing increasingly popular in Asia-Pacific over the past year, and we expect this trend to continue both in developed and emerging economies, so that by 2016 109.3m tablets will be sold in Asia-Pacific, reaching a CAGR of 57.5%.
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