Android Inspires Another Bright Quarter for MEA Tablet Market

tablet tablet

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market continued to record strong year-on-year growth in Q3 2014, spurred by a huge increase in shipments of Android-based devices. The latest figures announced today by International Data Corporation (IDC) show that the market expanded 29.6% in volume terms during the quarter to reach a total of 4.15 million units. This growth was most evident in the consumer segment, where a number of IT festivals and back-to-school promotions across the region helped boost tablet demand.

“While iOS and Windows OS both suffered year-on-year declines in Q3 2014, shipments of Android tablets increased 47% over the same period,” says Victoria Mendes, a research analyst for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “A number of local brands and low-cost Far-Eastern vendors aggressively shipped Android tablets to the region during the quarter. This in turn caused prices to decline even further, spurring yet more demand for these devices.”

After suffering a quarter-on-quarter slowdown in shipments in Q2 2014, Samsung experienced a very good quarter in Q3 2014, shipping 996,000 units. This represented growth on both Q3 2013 (year on year) and Q2 2014 (quarter on quarter), and saw the vendor maintain its number-one position in the region. Apple remained in second place, despite its 572,000 units representing a decline both year on year and quarter on quarter.

Lenovo was not far behind in third place, with its shipments for the quarter increasing to 525,000 units on the back of aggressive marketing and promotion campaigns across the region. Fourth-ranked Asus posted healthy growth to total 361,000 units, with the vendor aggressively shipping various low-cost models to the region during Q3 2014. Huawei secured fifth spot with the shipment of 81,000 units, representing a decrease on Q2 2014 but an increase on Q3 2013.

While the commercial segment suffered an overall slowdown during Q3 2014, a number of significant deals were delivered to government entities and very large enterprises in the region. And while there were no large tablet deliveries in the education sector, there was a deal for 11,000 2-in-1 devices as part of the UAE’s ongoing ‘Smart Learning Initiative’.

“2-in-1 devices are expected to see strong growth from 2015 onwards,” says Adriana Rangel, research director for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. “Most vendors are expected to add such devices to their portfolios as they continuously try to bridge the gap between tablets and PCs. And as 2-in-1 devices mainly come with large displays, we are expecting them to perform particularly strongly in the region’s commercial segments.”