NEW DELHI Sales of tablet computers in India are expected to at least double this year to 6 million, the market's third year of growth, as new devices attract business users and low costs draw consumers, research firm CyberMedia forecast.
Sales are likely to have reached 3 million in 2012, up from about 0.5 million in 2011, the firm estimated on Friday, citing data for the quarter to end-September, when companies led by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) sold 1.1 million tablets.
With the launch of low-cost devices running on Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Android platform by local firms, sales of tablets and smartphones have grown rapidly in the last two years. A slew of global makers of tablets have also entered the market.
In 2013, new tablets based on Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Windows 8 platform and companies' adoption of tablets for business applications will change the market significantly again, Faisal Kawoosa, lead analyst at CyberMedia's telecoms practice, said in a statement.
India is the world's second biggest telecommunications market with about 900 million mobile phone accounts. But computer penetration is low, and only about a tenth of its 1.2 billion people have access to Internet.
Samsung had a 23.9 percent share of tablet computers sold in India in the July-September quarter last year, CyberMedia Research said.
Local firm Micromax ranked second with 15.3 percent of the market, while Datawind, the maker of Aakash tablet, billed as the world's cheapest tablet computer, ranked third, it said in the report.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O), the maker of iPad tablet computers, was ranked fifth with an 8.7 percent share, the data showed.
The average sales value of tablets during the quarter was about 13,200 rupees, while 63.5 percent of the sales were below 10,000 rupees, CyberMedia Research said.
By comparison, the Apple's lowest-priced iPad Mini sells for 21,900 rupees, popular online retailer Flipkart.com's website showed.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by Jane Baird)
Oil prices fall as Saudi Arabia dampens prospects of output freeze
SINGAPORE Oil prices fell on Friday after the Saudi energy minister tempered expectations of strong market intervention by producers during talks next month, and as analysts pointed to an ongoing supply overhang that was weighing on markets.
Under India's incoming RBI boss expect less chat, unified message
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI When Urjit Patel became head of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy department three years ago, the to and fro of bankers and traders meeting officials for cosy, broad-ranging discussions abruptly ended.
GM mustard clears hurdle in India but more remain
NEW DELHI A government panel has cleared commercial use of what would be India's first genetically modified (GM) food crop, but politicians still have to give final approvals amid wide-spread public opposition.