Brazil sees new low in tablet sales

Performance in 2015 was the worst of the last five years, says IDC

Last year saw the sharpest decline in sales of tablet computers in Brazil ever since the devices were introduced to the local market in 2010, according to research published by analyst IDC.

Some 5,8 million units were sold last year, a 38 percent decline in relation to 2014. Out of the devices sold, 98,8 percent were traditional tablets, while 1,2 percent were notebooks with a detachable screen.

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The decrease means Brazil is no longer the fourth largest tablet market in the world - from the 4,1 percent global share it previously had in 2014, the country is now placed ninth, with 2,8 percent of all tablet sales worldwide, according to the analyst.

As for 2016, IDC Brazil predicts there will be a drop in tablet sales of 29 percent.

"Tablets are no longer a novelty - and given the economic instability the country has experienced during all of last year, with rising unemployment and lower consumer confidence, they have became a superfluous item," says IDC Brazil analyst Pedro Hagge.

After tablets were introduced in Brazil in 2010, sales soared a couple of years later as the device was seen as a cheaper and easier to use alternative to entry-level consumers. However, the dollar hike in relation to the Brazilian currency, the real, prompted foreign brands to leave the market and therefore the high street offering has dwindled.

According to the analyst, another factor that has impacted tablet sales in Brazil is the cannibalization by smartphones with larger screens, the phablets, on offer at lower prices.

Tablet prices have also seen a slight increase: in 2015 the average price for a device to Brazilian consumers was R$448 ($121) while in 2014, tablets were on offer for R$440 ($119) on average, so a 1.8 percent hike.