SA’s premium tablets hit by tough economic conditions

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The South African premium tablet market, has stagnated over the past five quarters, hit by tough economic conditions. By Gugu Lourie


 

The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported on Monday that the South African premium brands tablet market has stagnated over the past five quarters.

The global technology research and consulting firm said this was due to shrinking consumer disposable income, high levels of unemployment, the weak rand, and the growing shift of consumers towards smartphones that now typically sport larger screens.

The other trend shaping the market is that end users are delaying their renewals in an effort to gain extra value from their existing devices.

“The stagnation of the higher-end segments of the market is having a negative impact on premium brands,” said Joseph Hlongwane, a systems and infrastructure solutions analyst at IDC Africa. “The disappointing performance of these premium brands is expected to continue due to the bleak economic conditions, but these same conditions represent a huge opportunity for vendors that manufacture tablets targeted at the lower end of the market. Consequently, IDC expects the South Africa tablet market to continue growing at double-digit rates throughout 2015, spurred by strong demand for low-priced tablets.”

However, the South African tablet market bounced back from a disappointing performance in the first quarter of the year to record strong year-on-year growth of 56% in Q2 2015 . The global technology research and consulting firm revealed that much of this growth was spurred by devices from the lower price ranges of the market.

Tablets priced below $150 accounted for 60% of the total market in Q2 2015, an increase of seven percentage points on the previous quarter.

And while the affordability of these devices is obviously a prime attraction, the growing appetite for cheaper tablets is also being spurred by the improving quality, design, and user experience that is being offered by vendors targeting this segment of the market.

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