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UAE tablet sales to cross 1m by 2015

Device’s average selling price is expected to fall to $610 this year

Image Credit: AHMED RAMZAN/Gulf News
WiFi tablets will still be the popular model in the future. Only less than half of the sales areexpected to be 3G/4G models in 2012.
Gulf News

Dubai: Education, health care, hospitality, banking and government sectors are going to fuel a robust demand for tablets in the UAE.

In the UAE, tablet sales are expected to surge more than 79 per cent to 448,658 units this year compared to 250,004 units last year.

The market is expected to generate $273 million (Dh1 billion) in value this year compared to $174 million last year.

According to Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager at IDC MEA, “The average selling price of tablets in the UAE will fall to $610 this year compared to $697 last year.”

Next year, around 623,396 units are expected to be sold and it will cross one million by 2015. At the same time, around 3.64 million notebooks are expected to be sold in 2015.

OEM brands

“Even though low-cost OEM [original equipment manufacturer] brands are selling like hot cakes and being bundled away in high volumes, they will only be treated as a secondary device. Buyers of mid to high-end tablets are not very price-sensitive. They will not use a low-cost OEM brand for their official or primary use,” he said.

“OEM brands will experience a much higher growth in countries with bigger populations like Africa and later in Pakistan where per capita income is also much lower,” he said.

OEM brands will contribute about 15 per cent to the total sales.

Tablet purchases are prolonging the “PC refresh cycle”. “Right now, tablets are cannibalising sales of PCs in the region.”

“If people buy expensive tablets, they keep their laptops for long. For computing purposes, they don’t want to spend so much money. We see a slight demand for Microsoft’s new operating system in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Popular models

WiFi tablets will still be the popular model for the foreseeable future. Only less than half of the sales are expected to be 3G/4G models in 2012.

“According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, in 2012, global tablet shipments are expected to surge 65 per cent year-on-year to 117.1 million units. IDC expects worldwide demand to push annual shipments over the 200 million unit mark in 2014.”