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Southeast Asian tablet sales jump 41 percent over previous year

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Media tablets continue to be in strong demand across the Southeast Asia countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines in 2014 as consumers bought over 3.6 million of the popular gadget in the first four months of this year. Valued at USD935 million, 8 percent and nearly 980,000 more media tablets sold this year compared to the same timeframe in 2013.

Fastest growing markets in the region are Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia, reflecting exponential volume growth of 151, 82 and 82 percent respectively. With over 1.45 million units sold to generate over USD252 million, Indonesia reigns as the largest market for media tablets, accounting for 43 percent of total sales volume in the region.

"Four of the developing countries showed strong double to triple digit growth in media tablet sales volume as consumers are still lapping up this new technology," observed Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital World at GfK. "The market was negatively impacted in Thailand due to the political unrest in the country which has affect consumer spending to some extent, but we expect sales to revert to normalcy once the situation stabilizes."

GfK findings revealed an influx of entry level media tablets costing less than USD 100 in the region. While there were around 84 brands last year, the figure surged to 143-translating to 70 percent more players in the competitive market to vie for the consumer dollar. Thailand had the largest number of low cost media tablet brands available at 53, followed by Philippines which reported 39 of such brands.

"Media tablets were able to reach a wider range of consumer groups as prices fell below USD100 and became much more affordable and attainable to those in the less affluent developing markets," commented Tan. "Concurrently, GfK tracking this year revealed average prices of the device falling to USD278, which is a substantial 25 percent lower than last year."

According to GfK reports, growth of media tablets market in Southeast Asia this year was driven by models priced below USD300, which made up more than 3 in every 5 sold (63%)-a considerable development compared to last year's 38 percent. However, within this segment, those priced between USD200-300 registered the most growth of 366 percent; even higher than the below USD100 segment which saw slightly lesser expansion of 214 percent.

In the biggest market of Indonesia, however, media tablets below USD100 was the growth engine, turning in 68 percent increase in sales volume or an additional 656,000 units sold in 2014. The country has the heaviest consumers for media tablet in this category with sales totaling 1.45 million.

"As penetration levels are still relatively low in SEA, there is still plenty of opportunities for existing and new manufacturers of media tablet to compete for a piece of the pie," said Tan. "With consumers now presented with more options of price ranges for the popular device, the adoption of media tablets in Southeast Asia will continue to see an upward trend for the rest of 2014," he concluded.

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