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Samsung Crushes Apple in Opening Rounds of the Indian Tablet War

“Samsung dominates tablet industry in Indian market followed by Olivepad and Apple iPad.  Samsung knocks down world leader Apple and others in Indian tablet market because of its target and aggressive marketing.”

The Indian market has proved that, though you might be the world leader, if you do not focus on a target and use aggressive marketing, then getting beaten by your market competitors is unavoidable.  A perfect example is the Samsung Galaxy tab beating the iPad and others in Indian tablet war.

Though the iPad is a well recognized tablet when it was launched in India, its late arrival and lack of aggressive marketing has caused it to trail behind its primary competitor, Samsung, which dominates the Indian tablet market.

The History of Tablets in India:

In November 2010, the Olivepad from Olive Telecom was the first tablet to hit the Indian market followed shortly thereafter by Samsung Galaxy. The late comer was the iPad.  Though the Apple’s iPad 2 received a positive response from market, the long waiting period forced customer to move to other options as the desire to have “a tablet” overcame the desire to have a iPad.

To this date around 50 tablet models are available in India with many new models to be launched later this year, but the question is, “What did Samsung do differently that made its tablets a hit?” Analysts say Samsung’s understanding of the market was the key.

“As telecom carriers started offering 3G services in India since early 2011, the enhanced connect speeds are expected to boost usage of data services by subscribers. For tablets to become a common man’s device, the data usage tariffs for 3G services need to be brought down even further.” said Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research

“As of August, more than 50 tablet models were available in India and CyberMedia Research expects 250,000 units to be sold during the year,” said Naveen Mishra, lead analyst at CMR’s telecoms practice.

The latest reports in India shows Samsungs dominance in Indian tablet market:

Tablet Sales in India [Nov 10 to March 11]

During this period 85,000 tablets were sold in India, out of which 85% were Samsung Galaxy Tabs followed by Olive pads from Olive Telecom at 8.2%. Third was the Apple’s iPad which holds 5.9% and 2.4% comprised of the other tablet brands as per CMRI.


  •    Eye opener: For every One iPad sold, 14 Samsung Galaxy Tabs were sold in India.

 Key factor in Tablet sales in India:

The key factor is definitely, the right balance between quality and price.  Factors like hardware features and available apps are just one part of the equation needed to boost the sales in India.  Price must be balanced against quality, and it seems the 10K-15K(Rs) price range is sweet spot in the market.

There are already several companies competing in this price range.  Reliance’s 3G Tablet at comes in at Rs.12,000.  Bharti Enterprises’ Beetel Magiq Android Tab is priced just below the Rs. 10,000 thresholds, selling at Rs. 9,999.  Another is G’Five, China’s leading mobile handset maker, which offers a 3G Android tablet as well as a Windows tablet at a surprising price less than Rs. 10,000. The cheapest tab however is the tablet for students brought to the market by the Indian government called Sakshat (Translation: ‘Before Your Eyes’) priced around Rs.2200.

The final result from looking at all these tabs is that, while low price is a draw, quality is still important enough to steer consumers away from the basement prices that some tabs offer.  In the reverse, superior quality is not enough to make consumers want to spend large chunks of their income on a particular tab.  One must shoot for the middle if you want to win in practical minded India.

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