Gitex Shopper mainly about tablets and can be called â€˜tablet show' [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai: Tablets are growing at a quicker pace than any other category and will most likely be the engine of growth for the mobility sector for the next couple of years.
Initially, tablets are being used more as consumer devices because of the rich multimedia experience it delivers, such as in the form of games, movies or music. With more and more Apps coming onto the market every day, it is being used as a device for consuming content.
Not just branded tablets but also OEM tablets are making brisk business at this year's event.
"Demand is huge this year. Last year we sold only 300 pieces and this quarter we have sold 150,000 units fuelled by bundling offers by channel partners Jacky's, Sharaf DG, LuLu, Axiom and Carrefour," Vasant Menghani, managing director of Touchmate, said.
"Our products are priced between Dh499 and Dh1,199." This year's Gitex Shopper is mainly about tablets and can be called "tablet show". He said more than 60 per cent of the company's floor space is occupied by tablets.
"We have launched 14 new models at this event and expect to sell 5,000-6,000 units per day in alliance with retail partners," said Menghani.
According to Jeff Orr, group director, consumer research at ABI Research, a majority of new unbranded media tablets have been in the sub-$400 segment and this is expected to see significant growth of more than 60 per cent of the market by 2016 while the market for the over $400 segment is expected to shrink.
Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager at IDC MEA, said, a slowdown in PC demand was experienced due to the cannibalisation of demand by media tablets.
French firm Archos is also exploiting the demand with its comprehensive products.
"We are using this Gitex as an opportunity to expand the brand into Asia. We are the first in the world to have a hard disk drive built into the tablet. We are also coming out with the cooking tablet, 16-inch family tablet and gaming tablet soon," Asad Sayed, business manager for information technology at Banian FZCO, said.
The French company expects to sell around 10,000 units at this event in collaboration with retailers. "We have launched budget tablets called Arnova which are priced between Dh399 and Dh649 drawing huge response due to its price competitiveness.
According to Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer at Jacky's Electronics, the OEM brands are making huge waves this year due to its price advantage.
Leading the tablets race at Jacky's Electronics outlets remains Apple, followed by OEM brands this year.
"OEM brands are primarily used as a secondary tablet in the family with Apple being the primary one," Panjabi said.
Indian firm, HCL Infosystems, is also optimistic about its ME G1 tablet sales. "According to our key retail partners we have sold around 40 per cent of the entire sales of tablets in Shopper while 20 per cent of all tablet sales in other store stalls are of HCL tablets," said Shivkumar Gopal, CEO, HCL Infosystems MEA.
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