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Impact of Low-Cost Media Tablets in Growth Markets

The pricing trend for new media tablets is downward, as more smaller and less-expensive models are introduced into the marketplace by a growing variety of different vendors.

That being said, despite a series of low-cost media tablet launches in the second half of 2011, Apple's iPad tablet has managed to maintain its premier position in the Indian market with 51 percent market share in 2011.

Samsung's achievement at extending its success in the handset segment to the tablet segment, with its Galaxy Tab, allowed Samsung to be ranked in second place -- with 24 percent market share.

Indian consumers also showed a strong penchant for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook -- after prices were slashed significantly, making it the third largest player with a 10.4 percent market share.

The presence of ultra-low cost media tablets with non-optimal specifications might ruin the user experience and, in turn, prove to be a dampener for media tablet growth.

"Although there is lot of buzz in the Indian market, media tablets are yet to demonstrate their value proposition to Indian consumers," says Aishwarya Singh, analyst at ABI Research. "While there are several media tablets being launched in the sub-$200 price range, simply lowering the average selling price of media tablets may not lead to the desired growth in the market."

However, media tablets from the domestic handset makers, such as Micromax, may be the right products at the right price point for the mass market.

In India, total media tablet shipments in 2011 are estimated to be 0.39 million units, which is a very small fraction of the nearly 65 million shipped globally. However, the Indian media tablet market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 71 percent and shipments are expected to growth to 9.66 million units in 2017.

2012 is going to be an important year in the Indian tablet market as there are ample media tablet models available across different price points.

An enhanced user experience, seamless connectivity options, and localized content may soon become the key drivers of the forward-looking media tablet market growth.

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