Photo - Selinna Chin, MD, GfK Malaysia
Malaysians bought about 823,000 tablets during 2012, which shows a growth of 87 percent compared to 2011, according to a new study by research firm GfK Malaysia.
The Malaysian tablet industry's worth reach US$415 million in 2012, said GfK Malaysia managing director Selinna Chin. "The initial year  marked the launch of the first tablet in Malaysia and saw new adopters and avid techies buying some 439,000 tablets, which averaged at US570. Demand has continued to escalate, with October in 2012 hitting a high of more than 81,200 tablets sold in a month."
"The key reasons for this boom in Malaysia and elsewhere in the region is the widening range of tablets selling at lowering prices, which makes the smart device increasingly affordable to consumers," said Chin. "The government has also played an instrumental role in the rise of tablets as they continue to step up efforts to improve Internet infrastructure, connectivity and speed in the country."
She said GfK retail audit findings showed that some 36 models of tablets by 18 key brands were available in the market in 2011. "The number of brands in the market has since expanded to 35 in 2012, availing consumers today to an expansive array of 84 tablet models to choose from."
"This tablet boom has attracted many new international and smaller players currently offering tablets with varying features at a wide range of prices ranging from the low of US$82 to as high as US$744," said Chin. Android is the reigning operating system with nearly 70 percent of total volume sales in Malaysia.
"Last year's average price of US$505 reflects a significant 10 percent price erosion from the time when tablets were initially launched in Malaysia around the last quarter of 2010, and the intensifying competition for the consumer dollar has and will keep on driving down prices, inevitably causing continued erosion of tablet prices in 2013," she said.
"The near future looks bright for this popular sector and we can anticipate annual sales of tablets to continue to grow and exceed the results of 2012 to achieve around 18 percent in total market value," said Chin. "The result of a separate GfK survey conducted in December 2012 presents a positive outlook for tablets with one in three (33 percent) respondents indicating the intention to purchase a tablet in the first quarter of 2013."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.