Brazilians shun PCs in favour of tablets

Personal computer sales drops in the first quarter; tablet adoption soars
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Sales of tablet computers in Brazil are set to surpass desktop sales forecast in Brazil as the mobile devices become more accessible and desirable to domestic consumers.

The Brazilian market for personal computers is slowing in line with global trends — the first quarter of the year saw the steepest decline in PC shipments since 1994.

About 5.8 million tablets are expected to be sold in Brazil in 2013, according to IDC. On the other hand, personal computer sales should reach 5.5 million this year — and sales in that segment have already dropped 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013, with 3.4 million units sold over the period.

Last week, Apple launched the iPad mini in Brazil, at prices starting from R$1,300 ($584) eight months after the official launch. But the vast majority of the tablets sold in Brazil are more affordable, Android-based alternatives produced by local manufacturers such as CCE and Positivo; about 77 percent of the devices sold in Brazil in 2012 cost R$500 ($224.50) or less, according to IDC.

Brazilians can actually buy tablet computers for as little as R$250, which are often imported. In that case, the manufacturer can be held responsible in the event of any issues — but in practice, exchanging products or getting repairs done can be a headache, since many of these devices come from Chinese manufacturers.

At the same time, we are seeing a recent movement where tech giants such as Huawei and Qualcomm are rushing to claim a slice of the Brazilian mobile computing market. Local manufacturing can offer Brazilian consumers the assurances around quality and support they need, while giving a range of new government incentives to firms wishing to make tablets here.

We shall see how those recent developments will change the tablet market in the months to come.

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