In the last 12 months, demand for tablets and laptops in Southeast Asia grew 32 percent to record combined sales of nearly 14.2 million, research company GfK says.
“Southeast Asia’s Internet infrastructure have improved by leaps and bounds, spurring the increasingly connected society to seek gratification for instant connectivity via portable devices such as tablets and laptops,” GfK said in an official release on Monday.
Although laptops continued to make up more than half the combined sales volume at 57 percent, the segment’s growth rate for Southeast Asia stood at 4 percent, whereas the fast growing tablet segment doubled in volume demand, or 101 percent, in the June 2012 to May 2013 period from the same period the year before.
“Consumers in the region’s developing markets eager to get their hands on the latest tablets and laptops spurred the overall market’s strong double digit growth rate in the range of 11 to 54 percent,” account director for digital technology at GfK Asia Gerard Tan said.
“However, it is mainly the tablet market which has been the key growth propeller with four of the six countries reporting more than twofold incremental sales volume.”
Indonesia is the largest tablet market accounting for nearly 1.3 million units or over one-third of total tablet sales volume in the region with consumers here snapping up one in every three units of all tablets sold across the six markets.
Compared to the previous year, demand for tablets in the country surged 141 percent in the latest one-year period. However, the most robust market appears to be the Philippines where tablet take-up rate in the last 12 months grew over fourfold, at 322 percent.
“It is worth highlighting that cost of tablets in all of the markets have dipped significantly over the past year, averaging at around 27 percent throughout the region,” observed Tan.
Indonesia and Thailand carry over 60 tablet brands in their respective local markets, availing consumers in the country around 300 and 240 models to choose from.
Prices of tablets are also lowest here, selling at an average price of US$357 and $408 respectively. On the other hand, in Singapore where there are only around 29 brands, average tablet price was highest last year at $525.
Meanwhile laptop sales continued to surge in Indonesia and Thailand by 17 and 16 percent, respectively, while Philippines and Singapore fell into the negative growth range.
“Laptops are definitely facing stiff competition from tablets as they present a possibly more inexpensive and comparable option for consumers seeking a slightly larger portable smart device with stronger capabilities than smartphones,” said Tan. “However, laptops have their own unique functions and are able to perform tasks which tablets may not be able to, so both products have their own unique space in the market,” Tan said.