Singapore and Hong Kong, July 7, 2011 – Media tablets will experience a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 54% in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region, multiplying nearly ten times to 21 million units from 2 million units shipped in 2010. IDC expects more consumers to adopt media tablets to hit gaming, Web-browsing, and social networking needs on the go.
Mature countries like 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. Emerging countries in APEJ, like Indonesia and Malaysia by contrast, have more conservative attitudes toward media tablets, and still prefer mininotebooks with better keyboard input and a familiar user experience.
eReaders on the other hand, will carry a lower 18% CAGR as eReader are limited to a single function, one that media tablets cover anyways. In fact, media tablets offer a better reading experience with color display for magazine content.
"Lack of localized 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," says Dickie Chang, Senior Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.
In media tablets, Apple became more active in Asia for the iPad 2 launch, similar to its approach with the iPhone 3G. Apple's aggressive pricing and strong branding left little room for other players to prosper. Samsung focused on its 7-inch tablet, relying on its domestic brand strength to boost its numbers. A host of local Chinese brands form the long tail in this market. With product development speed being their key strength, they may survive in some niche markets.
The eReader market is largely driven by Hanvon and Snda in the China market, as they entered the market early. 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.
"Over the next five years, Apple will set the pace for the media tablet category. 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. 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," adds Melissa Chau, Research Manager for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia/Pacific.
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Media Tablet and eReader Tracker includes APEJ's coverage of 13 country markets: Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, the PRC, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam.