ImageThe Tablet Landscape
According to S. Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer, Acer India, Tablet PCs are swiftly closing the gap between smartphones and computers, becoming the device-of-choice for both consuming and creating content. “The growing app ecosystem, increased Wi-Fi proliferation, and development of mobile broadband networks such as 3G & 4G have resulted in tablets becoming the preferred form factor for accessing the internet on-the-move, perfectly fulfilling consumer needs for lightweight computing and portable entertainment. Addressing consumer desire for portable computing, we recently launched the 8-inch Windows 8.1 powered Iconia W4 tablet in India. Buoyed by the increased tablet uptake in the Indian market, especially the education and enterprise sector, we see tremendous potential in the tablet market,” he explains.
The Market Scenario
Last year was a challenging one for the entire PC industry, but there is a lot more optimism about 2014 fuelled by better positive consumer sentiments and stability in the exchange rates. Going forward, we anticipate good traction for tablets in both the consumer and enterprise segments. The global tablet market is expected to be 50% of the total PC market, and it is poised to ship 285 million units by the end of this year. In India on account of growing discernment by the consumer, poor usage experience with unbranded/white box Tablets, and stricter laws for compliance with safety standards we see a shift in customer preference for quality products from branded players.
As being put by S Rajendran from Acer, “this year looks very promising and we have a strong roadmap in place to tap the tablet PC market; with rising preference for tablet adoption, we expect the category to grow manifold. We have launched tablet PCs on both Windows as well as Android platforms on different form factors and have aggressive plans to further expand our product line up in this category. Our entire ecosystem is being tuned to address the tablet market and effectively deliver our promise of breaking barriers between people and technology. Our focus would be in both the spaces of Consumer and Commercial,” he explains.
According to Manit Singh, Manager ? Communications, Amtrak Info System, the Indian tablet market space is definitely promising as the users are highly acceptable to technology. It has been pretty much a while tablets have come into existence, the coming time will be of getting advanced with technology. “The recent reports do speak of the demand having gotten low comparing to previous years? statements, but technology always paves its way to attracting the customers. With tablet PCs, and with us, we definitely have some promising plans by introducing uniqueness, hand-designed features, which are going to suit to various needs and requirements at both personal and professional manner to the customers,” he adds on.
The growth path
Growing on the customers need for mobility and increasing their productivity as well, tablets are setting new course for growth now. “As stated earlier, tablets are rapidly gaining user preference since they present the ideal mix of performance and portability. Thus apart from the Consumer segment, we also see good scope for tablets in the Commercial space in India especially in education, government, and SMB/SME/SOHO segments. We have been active in higher education and K12, both in the government and private education space. With touch interface becoming the primary UI and the utility function of a device increasingly governing consumer decision making, we foresee exciting times ahead in terms of the tablet form factor gaining momentum,” Rajendran adds on.
Innovation is one of the biggest pillars on which tablets are moving fast in the market. And this is reflected in the way global vendors are adapting themselves to the ever changing market dynamics in the tablets space.
“We have an exciting mix of products to offer our consumers this year. Our product portfolio will have both Windows and Android platform based devices, in various innovative form factors on different hardware platforms. These are interesting times, the consumer has evolved and we are seeing a marked change in the buying behaviour of consumers across various segments. The consumers? increasing preference for lightweight portable computing devices, coupled with the country?s younger demographics is fuelling the demand for tablets. The increasingly mobile corporate workforce needs devices enabling them to remain productive on the move. The tablet form factor is therefore gaining tremendous traction in the consumer segment as well as the enterprise sector. Tapping this need, we recently launched the 8 inch Windows 8.1 tablet ? the Iconia W4, an industry first in the Indian market and we have received extremely positive feedback from customers across segments,” Rajendran explains.
“To catch hold the interest of customers, it is important to offer something that is unique. With high competition and a lot of options being available in the market, it is very important to hold a point of differentiation. Being at par to the technology is not enough, by informing the customers the right use of these devices and making the best use of it definitely attracts customers? attention,” Manjit Singh from Amtrak Info adds on.
Applications on Tablets
“There are a plethora of consumer-centric applications already available to users in the market. From a commercial standpoint, we see customers demanding enterprise-specific applications. The platforms we offer are quite capable of scaling up to the demands in the Commercial segment. And we have seen some large enterprise wins on Acer Iconia tablets both on Android and Windows in the last few months,” Rajendran adds on.
“We have always believed in and created an entire solution with our devices which includes applications for all individuals. A hardware when fitted with unique applications makes it highly valuable, otherwise, it is an open-ended technology which is just larger to the size of your mobile phone or maybe just smaller to the size of your laptop. Applications really help the users make the best use of their tablet PCs. There are millions of applications available on all platforms, these, if rightly embedded by uniquely designing for the tablet users, will define the proper use of tablet PCs,” Manjit Singh from Amtrak explains.
Tablets in Enterprise
Enterprise adoption of tablets will primarily be driven by suitability of the devices to provide robust performance, security, manageability and compatibility with enterprise class applications. The lightweight form factor and ease of use have driven a lot of enterprise companies to adopt tablet PCs in the workplace. We already see a buzz regarding tablets amongst our existing customers from BFSI, Corporate & SMB segments. We have started making inroads into the commercial segment, with some major initial wins from key verticals. Our Windows based tablets also provide an option for Windows 8 Professional version which will be an added advantage for business users. The education vertical is also witnessing tremendous traction, as a number of leading institutions are encouraging their students to use tablets as a learning device. Moreover, some State Governments are also supporting this adoption through their election manifesto based orders as well as e-Governance initiatives in the Education space.
Manjit Singh from Amtrak says that the enterprise community highly demands customized solutions with tablet PCs. “There can be n number of possibilities for tablets to participate in and provide solutions. Tablets for sales force, data collection, remote content push, virtual meetings, cloud, etc. are some of the examples which can be solved by the presence of these devices. Yes, we strongly work around the enterprise segments by providing solutions to various customized requirements. We are currently working on some large quantity enterprise requirements which are ready to become success stories,” he adds on.