Retail in Asia

In Trends

Demand for tablets in Malaysia quintupled over last 3Q with latest quarter sales volume reaching over 260,000, finds GfK Malaysia

With todays hastened lifestyle where consumers are constantly on the move, portability and mobility of modern technology is more vital than ever. On top of this, the accessibility factor which allows todays tech savvy users to constantly stay connected with the rest of the world at all times is another essential factor. These are some of the key reasons why tablets are selling like hotcakes, surging in sales by over fivefold (509 percent) in the last quarter of 2011 over the same period in 2010.

According to global leading market research company GfK, Malaysians have been eagerly welcoming and adopting this latest gadget, buying nearly 656,000 units in the past year. By the end of the year, retail tracking figures for tablets reflected almost on par volume sales with retail laptops, even though it had only been in the market for just over a year.

"Our findings have affirmed that tablets are enjoying widespread acceptance in Malaysia," said Jennifer Chan, general manager of GfK Malaysia. "Since its launch in mid-2010, take up rate has been mounting rapidly with sales rising on a month to month basis, so much that todays sales have almost come head to head with laptopsa computing device that is seen as the tablet’s closest competitor."

In the recent January 2012 GfK Malaysia findings of the portable IT technology category, the sales proportion of tablets to notebooks was around 48:52. This is an 18 percentage point increase for tablets, as compared to the same period a year ago. While the tablets market totaled around USD44 million in the final quarter of 2010, it has grown substantially to be worth more than USD140 million a year later.

Since 2010, competition has been intense among manufacturers, who have started introducing more tablet models into the market. Network operators have also been driving sales by providing subsidies for tablet packages that come with 3G data services. As such, prices of tablets are becoming increasingly affordable these days.

"The Malaysian government continual efforts to deepen Internet penetration, such as by increasing public wi-fi hotspots and cutting tax on broadband subscription, have been helping to generate high pick up rate for Internet-enabled hardware," observed Chan. "At the same time, todays demanding consumers seeking consistently high performance, quality photos capture and speedy media experience in a convenient portable form means there is still much more room for development for tablets in this tech hungry market!"