x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Android OS leads the field in UAE tablet shipments

Tablet shipments in the Middle East and Africa more than doubled in the last quarter of 2013, as consumers increasingly turn away from PCs, according to IDC data.

The hefty shipment increases in both the consumer and corporate segments are confirmation that consumers in the region are increasingly favouring tablets. Elaine Thompson / AP Photo
The hefty shipment increases in both the consumer and corporate segments are confirmation that consumers in the region are increasingly favouring tablets. Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Devices running Google’s Android operating system accounted for 70 per cent of total tablet shipments in the UAE during 2013, according to the research firm IDC.

Android’s success is largely attributable to the rise of more affordable smaller-screen tablets from manufacturers other than traditional heavyweights such as Samsung and Apple, said Fouad Charakla, a research manager with IDC in Dubai.

“There are a lot of new tablet manufacturers entering the market, and they are all going for Android,” said Mr Charakla. “With more vendors comes more competition, which will cause prices to go down further.”

All 10 of the most popular tablets on Sharaf DG’s website operate on Android, and are priced at less than Dh650.

Tablet shipments in the Middle East and Africa more than doubled in the last quarter of 2013, as consumers increasingly turn away from PCs, according to IDC data.

Shipments across both consumer and corporate segments in the region grew to 3.45 million units in the fourth quarter, a year-on-year increase of 111 per cent.

Such growth figures are confirmation that consumers in the region are increasingly favouring tablets.

PC shipments in the Middle East and Africa fell to 4.5 million units during the final quarter of 2013, a 14.3 per cent drop compared with the same quarter in 2012, according to IDC data.

“As the traditional PC market is expected to decline further in 2014, the tablet market is expected to increase significantly, and not just proportionately,” said Victoria Mendes, a research analyst with IDC.

“[In response], traditional PC vendors are likely to introduce hybrid devices that will look and function like tablets but will have a much higher performance output.”

Android remains the tablet operating system of choice for the region’s consumers, IDC reported. The operating system accounted for 2.8 million tablets shipped during the quarter, a 16 per cent increase on the previous quarter.

Meanwhile Apple’s market share of its iOS operating system fell during the quarter, owing to lower than expected sales of its new its iPad Air and iPad Mini with retina display tablets.

Samsung maintained its position as the most popular tablet manufacturer across theregion, even though its units shipped dropped to 742,000 during the quarter.

Apple followed in second place, shipping a total of 653,000 units, followed by Lenovo, Asus and Huawei.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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