While global tablet sales are cooling off from huge highs over the past few years – and are set to lodge an increase of only around 8% in 2015 globally – tablet sales in South Africa have increased by as much as 46% since the beginning of 2013.
Asgar Mahomed, MD of Esquire Technologies, says his company has also witnessed a “solid” growth in tablet sales during the last six months.
Although the tablet market is cooling down in developed markets, in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), people are still pretty keen on buying the smart devices, Mahomed says.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), sales in the region grew by 26,1% year on year to 4,43-million units by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, after a beleaguered year in 2014, the global tablet market is not returning to the levels of growth seen in the last four years.
Gartner estimates that worldwide tablet sales will reach 233-million units in 2015, an 8% increase from 2014.
“The collapse of the tablet market in 2014 was alarming,” says Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner.
“In the last two years global sales of tablets were growing in double-digits. The steep drop can be explained by several factors. One is that the lifetime of tablets is being extended – they are shared out amongst family members and software upgrades, especially for iOS devices, keep the tablets current. Another factor includes the lack of innovation in hardware which refrains consumers from upgrading.”
Mahomed adds: “We are still seeing some solid sales in South Africa and I think we can beat the global sales increase of 8%. Our market is less saturated then in developed markets, such as the US and Europe. But we are seeing some pressures on sales coming in.
“What could affect sales in South Africa with regards to tablets, is the continued weakness of the rand against the dollar. This is definitely placing a pressure on sales figures, due to higher prices. But, despite this, we are still seeing market demand.”