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July 11, 2011

Media tablet market in APEJ to witness 54% growth by 2015: IDC-110711

Lack of localised content is an issue for eReaders

By CBR Staff Writer

Media tablets are set to witness a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region, according to a survey by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Korea, Australia, and Taiwan are showing high interest in mobile devices like media tablets while China continues to demonstrate high purchasing power for new tech products.

In contrast, emerging countries in APEJ, like Indonesia and Malaysia, have more conservative attitudes toward media tablets, and still prefer mini-notebooks with better keyboard input and a familiar user experience.

IDC Asia/Pacific Client Devices Research senior market analyst Dickie Chang said lack of localised content is an issue for eReaders in APEJ.

"In China for example, some consumers are still relying on pirated Internet downloads. Online bookstores haven’t been earning device vendors wide margins on content, and face aggressive iPad pricing, squeezing them further," Chang said.

Apple’s aggressive pricing and strong branding left little room for other players to prosper.

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Samsung focused on its 7-inch tablet, relying on its domestic brand strength to boost its numbers.

In China, the eReader is a good choice for a gift, but more consumers are starting to consider media tablets.

Although the Amazon Kindle only sells in some AP countries, it is still popular in English-speaking countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.

IDC Asia/Pacific Client Devices Research research manager Melissa Chau said over the next five years, Apple will set the pace for the media tablet category and competitors to iPad must innovate ways to differentiate their products though, lest consumer interest wanes in favor of the next tech gadget.

"Some of this demand may be driven by the education sector, such as the Thai government’s recently announced plan to distribute 800,000 Android tablets to primary school students," Chau said.

"While this latest announcement has not been yet factored into IDC’s forecast, there are certainly opportunities out there to keep driving media tablet growth."

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