South Africa sees Upsurge in the Demand for Tablet Devices

Shipments of tablet PCs to South Africa increased 107.1 per cent year on year in the final quarter of 2013, reaching a total of 513,000 units shipped.

These figures came from the International Data Corporation (IDC) and their latest insights into the market.

Whilst tablets have seen this huge increase, the country's traditional PC market suffered an 18.8 per cent decline over the same period, falling to 427,000 units. The innovative all-in-one (AiO) devices and convertible notebooks also saw an impressive increase.

"The decline in PC shipments can be attributed to the weak rand, high unemployment rate, poverty and cannibalisation from tablet devices," claims Joseph Hlongwane, a research analyst at IDC South Africa.

With the majority of end users using a tablet device to surf the internet and access social media, tablets are the device that fits the bill. "This is clearly reflected in the growing popularity of tablets with a screen size between 7 and 8 inches, which resulted in shipments of such devices increasing 208.5 per cent year on year in the fourth quarter of 2013 to a total of 369,000 units."

Android-based tablet shipments were up 170.9 per cent to a total of 436,000 units. In 2013 alone 1.2 million Android-based tablets were shipped to South Africa, representing a significant 77.1 per cent of the market. In contrast, iOS-based tablets have declined by 15.7 per cent, representing a market share of 19.3 per cent.

"As is the case in all high-tech markets, tablets have grown exponentially since their introduction in South Africa and the trend is expected to continue along a similar path in the coming years. Their success in the computing space has been driven primarily by their mobility benefits, touch screen technology and competitive price points."