Nearly 260,000 tablet computers valued at Php3.61 billion (US$88.36 million) flew off Philippine shelves from January to May this year, according to GfK.
The 7-inch and below screen sizes are the most popular among Filipino consumers, accounting for nearly 64% of all tablet sales. GfK also saw a decline in the average price of tablets in general, which has plunged from Php24,373 to Php13,882.
Another notable trend is the increasing take-up of Wi-Fi only models. More than half (52.4%) of the tablet market is Wi-Fi only as the Wi-Fi with 3G models (47.6%) are more expensive. The increase in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots available in coffee shops and malls is driving sales of Wi-Fi only models. There are also a number of consumers who own a pocket Wi-Fi router or use their smartphones to tether their wireless devices.
“To a large extent, the popularity of tablets is really due to the ‘cool and trendy’ image that the product brings,” Benny Villanueva, Managing Director for GfK Philippines, told Upgrade Magazine. “Coupled with the introduction of lower-priced models and wider availability of free wifi access, the uptake of these devices has grown substantially as the devices provides consumers convenient access to the Internet for information search, social networking, and gaming and entertainment. However, while continued growth is expected until the end of the year, large-screensmartphones (popularly referred to as “phablet”) may render tablets redundant, unless innovative features can be quickly introduced into newer models of tablets, ahead of smartphones.”
According to the latest GfK report for the month of May, the Philippine tablet arena consists of 189 tablet models spanning 40 local and international brands.