A post-festive season sales report by online retailer kalahari.com reveals that tablets were the second most purchased electronic devices on the site.
While the e-tailer’s pre-festive season shopping survey predicted the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets as the most coveted gifts, the actual buying trends from the period show that entry-level tablets were actually the most purchased items.
Tablets came second only to the gobii e-reader as the highest-selling device on kalahari.com. Interestingly, the Google Nexus 7 beat the Apple iPad as the favourite among customers followed by other entry-level tablets like the Coby and Prestigio 7-inch tablets.
“The high sales of e-readers and entry level tablets signal a growing e-content market in South Africa,” comments Liz Hillock, head of marketing at kalahari.com.
“Not all shoppers can afford the top-of-the-range brands, but there is definitely a need for e-content and convenience offered by these devices, which explains the astonishing uptake of devices such as the gobii and more affordable tablet devices.
“We also think that more parents are buying the devices for kids as interactive and educational tools which could also explain the sales spike just before back-to school period.”
Hillock adds that, regardless of which brand came out tops in terms of sales, there is no longer denying the popularity of tablets with South African shoppers.
“Tablets are fast becoming a more convenient way to access Internet and shop online for South Africans, a trend we noticed in our 2012 mobile shopping survey that analysed the shopping habits of 4 000 of South Africa’s shoppers.
“According to market researcher GfK, tablets in the local tech market  have grown from claiming 18% of the Web book and mobile PC market to a 26% share from February  2012 to March 2012. In terms of traffic on kalahari.com, PC and mobile remain the predominant drivers of traffic.
“However, there has been a marked increase in traffic coming via tablet devices which translates to a 300% increase from November 2011 to November 2012,” she concludes.