New data from International Data Corp (IDC) shows demand for tablet computers in South Africa is soaring. Shipments of tablet PCs to South Africa increased by 107% year on year in the last quarter of 2013 to a total of 513 000 units, the research firm said on Monday.
The growth is having a severe toll on the PC market, however. PC sales declined by 18,8% over the same period, to 427 000 units. The news was better for all-in-one devices and convertible notebooks.
“The decline in PC shipments can be attributed to the weak rand, high unemployment rate, poverty and cannibalisation from tablet devices,” said IDC research analyst Joseph Hlongwane in a statement.
“As is the case in all hi-tech markets, tablets have grown exponentially since their introduction in South Africa and the trend is expected to continue along a similar path in the coming years. Their success in the computing space has been driven mainly by their mobility benefits, touchscreen technology, and competitive price points.”
The majority of end users use tablet devices to surf the Internet and access social media, so tablets that can fit in one hand are seeing a tremendous increase in demand, Hlongwane said. “This is clearly reflected in the growing popularity of tablets with a screen size between seven and eight inches, which resulted in shipments of such devices increasing by 208,5% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2013 to total 369 000 units.”
Android-based tablet shipments grew by 171% over the same period to 436 000 units. In 2013, 1,2 million Android tablets were shipped into South Africa, representing 77,1% of the market. Apple’s iPad, meanwhile, has been losing market share, with shipments down by 15,7% year on year in fourth quarter to 65 000 units. Only 300 000 iPads were shipped into the country in 2013, representing a market share of 19,3%.
The traditional desktop market shrunk by almost 25% year on year in the fourth quarter, but shipments of all-in-one devices increased by 28,6%. However, the high price of these machines is a deterrent to the majority of the market, according to the IDC.
Shipments of convertible notebooks grew by 365%, though this was off a low base.
Hewlett-Packard regained top spot in South Africa’s overall PC market with a 16,7% year-on-year increase in shipments. Lenovo ranked second after boosting its shipments by 23,3% year on year. Third-placed Dell’s shipments were up 15.9% year on year for the quarter. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media