Malaysia's tablet market grows five-fold

Media slate market hits shipment of about 656,000 units during 2011 and sales of tablets catching up to laptop numbers, reveals GfK.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Sales of tablet computers in Malaysia grew five-fold in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter the year before, according to a new report which noted that the number of tablets sold was catching up to sales of laptops.

In a report Wednesday, GfK Malaysia said tablet sales in the country reached over 260,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 509 percent growth compared to the same period in 2010. The value of the tablet market also grew "substantially" to US$140 million in fourth-quarter 2011 from US$44 million during the last quarter of 2010.

During 2011, sales of tablets in Malaysia reached nearly 656,000 units, according to GfK, which added that despite its new entrance in the market, sales of tablets is catching up to that of laptops.

"Since [the launch of tablets] in mid-2010, takeup rate has been mounting rapidly with sales rising on a month-to-month basis, so much so that today's sales have almost come head-to-head with laptops--a computing device that is seen as the tablet's closest competitor," Jennifer Chan, general manager of GfK Malaysia, said in the report.

A January 2012 GfK Malaysia report also found that the ratio of tablet sales to laptops was around 48 to 52, which was an 18 percentage point increase for tablets compared with the same period last year.

According to the analyst firm, the price of tablets had been increasingly affordable due to competition among tablet manufacturers as well as subsidies provided by network operators for tablet purchases.

The local government also had a hand in driving the adoption of Internet-connected devices, said Chan. "The Malaysian government's 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," she said.

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