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Homegrown vendors drive PH tablet market growth

Homegrown vendors are steadily gaining ground in the Philippines, with Cherry Mobile and Starmobile being two of the strongest.

A total of 598,375 tablets were shipped to the Philippines in Q1 2014, translating to a year-on-year growth of 110%–the highest year-on-year growth among countries in Southeast Asia, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker.

Samsung and Apple continue to lead the tablet race in the Philippines, garnering the first and second place, respectively. However, these international players are increasingly facing tough competition from local vendors. Homegrown vendors are steadily gaining ground in the Philippines, with Cherry Mobile and Starmobile being two of the strongest.

“Backed by cash-rich marketing and A-list celebrity endorsements, Cherry Mobile and Starmobile continue to feed the appetite of Filipino consumers for budget-friendly tablets. The rising demand for tablets from these homegrown players will keep the =Philippines tablet market on a growth trajectory in 2014,” says Jerome Dominguez, Associate Market Analyst at IDC Philippines.

Aside from local vendors, PC-centric MNCs that recently ventured into tablets are also showing increased aggression in the tablet space.

“International PC vendors, like Lenovo and ASUS, are continuing to bring in entry-level tablets at attractive price points, competing head-on with the offerings of local and Chinese brands. The predatory pricing schemes of these international players are also posing a threat to the more prominent tablet line-ups of Samsung and Apple,” adds Dominguez.

While price remains a primary consideration among consumers in the Philippines, after-sales support is also becoming an important consideration. Defect issues have been plaguing the Philippines tablet market since 2013.

“The Philippines remains a predominantly budget-conscious market for devices, which explains the high demand for budget tablets among its consumers,” comments Daniel Pang, Senior Research Manager for Client Devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “The growing competition between international and local tablet brands is good in that it will encourage the players to continue to innovate and improve product quality to stay ahead of the competition.”

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