Mobiles & Tablets

Desi tablet-makers face heat from MNCs

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2014

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Dell, Hewlett-Packard launch ‘affordable’ devices to grab marketshare

Indian brands such as Micromax and Lava, which have dominated the low-cost tablet segment, is now facing competition from multinational firms.

Foreign device companies, including Dell and Hewlett Pakcard (HP), are ready with a slew of products priced between ₹10,000 and ₹20,000 in a bid to get a share of the mass market.

Low-cost devices

Low-cost tablets account for nearly 80 per cent of the overall tablet market. But according to Manasi Yadav, Senior Analyst – Phones and Tablets at IDC India, the market is graduating up towards better quality devices and a lower priced device from Dell and HP will attract customers who until now did not have options beyond the Indian tablet models. “It is expected that they (MNC brands) will further lower down the prices in future and because of the experience that these branded companies have – in terms of distribution and after sales services – they will eat market shares of the low-cost manufacturers,” Yadav said.

While Dell has launched three new models, called Venue, priced between Rs 10,999 and Rs 26,499, HP will launch tablets called Slate in February, which is expected to be priced around Rs 20,000

According to Yadav, the MNC products have better perception in terms of quality and features.

Companies such as Datawind, which supplied Aakaash tablets, priced below Rs 4,000 may have to depend on Government projects or first-time buyers in smaller towns. “As tablets become more solutions-oriented rather than a plain-computing device, the low-cost manufacturers will face an uphill task to be able to penetrate into enterprise segment,” Faisal Kawoosa, Senior Manager – Research and Consulting, Cyber Media Research (Telecoms Practice), said.

He said MNC brands will play a crucial driving role in driving the tablets through the enterprises in India, reason being the huge and wide IT skills available with these companies. “They can easily serve the enterprises in delivering a tablet as a solution rather than a mere device,” he said.

However, the Indian brands are not giving up. Simmtronics, which also has a manufacturing facility in India, says the foreign brands do not have many models in the affordable category.

“We get a lot of benefits from the Government like waiver of custom duty on a tablet due to which our price is always extremely competitive. Also, the foreign players have been targeting the high-end customers where as we have products for all segments of society,” Indrajit Sabharwal, MD, Simmtronics, said.

Published on January 23, 2014

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