Demand for tablets or entry level notebooks to fulfil distant learning needs of children, who till now borrowed their mother’s and father’s laptops or smartphones, has started rising as gross sales of non-essentials have resumed with easing of the lockdown curbs.
Lenovo, the leading tablet brand in India, has seen a surge in demand for such units with the government relaxing the lockdown restrictions imposed to control the spread of COVID-19.
“Since the demand is more for studying, there’s a slight shift towards 7-inch category. However, the biggest selling segment has been 10-inch tablets within the price range of ₹10,000 – ₹15,000,” mentioned Pankaj Harjai, Director – tablets and smart devices, Lenovo India.
Mumbai-based electronics retailer, Mahesh Telecom, has seen rising demand for tablets within the range of ₹10,000- ₹20,000. However, supply from the side of distributors has been limited.
“Tablets are in demand, particularly those with massive screens which are good for learning,” mentioned Manish Khatri, partner at Mahesh Telecom.
To leverage this rising demand, firms within the segment have began launching new products. Samsung lately launched Galaxy Tab S6 Lite with a 10.4-inch screen and the S-Pen.
Lenovo additionally plans to launch new tablets with more children centric features. “We are making efforts to bring in more innovation in our merchandise with improved children mode, metal physique and Full HD screens to enhance buyer experience,” added Harjai.
Growing demand for tablets will assist many manufacturers offset the poor run they had throughout Q12020. According to a CMR (Cyber Media Research) report, tablet market in India in Q1-2020 declined by 24% sequentially. CMR forecast that thetablet market will pick-up in second half of 2020 with demand coming from both consumer and enterprise segments.
“We consider, over the short- to mid-term, some tablet vendors will stand to benefit from the increased productivity demands in the new normal, including home learning and work from home requirements. In addition, there will likely be a potentially increased market demand from regulation enforcement and healthcare for covid-19 counter-measures,” Menka Kumari, Analyst-Industry Intelligence Group, CMR mentioned in a press release.
However, this sudden curiosity in tablet section might not translate right into a revival of the tablet category as many who’re on the lookout for a tablet are additionally considering different choices like a low cost laptops at the same time. Laptop manufacturers have already began profiting from it by launching low cost laptops for around ₹20,000-30,000.
“It is true that tablets are seeing some traction for e-learning. Also, laptops are much less mobile and portable than tablets. Plus, children these days want a touch device and touchscreen laptops are fewer and costlier. But it’s a little early to name it a revival,” mentioned Navkendar Singh – Research Director, Client Devices & IPDS, IDC (International Data Corporation) India.
He feels, many of these consumers want a low cost laptop than a tablet particularly for college students in secondary schools who must create content material compared primary classes where they solely consume content.