NEW DELHI: Even though tablet shipments in India declined by nearly a third (32.8%) in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period last year, analysts remain confident that the device still has a future for established brands.

As reported by afaqs, the Indian advertising portal, the International Data Corporation (IDC) found tablet shipments fell to 0.78m units in Q1 2014.

IDC attributed the decline to increased adoption of smaller-sized phablets, but also to brands having to meet improved quality standards required by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

These developments hit several cheap brands, which were selling their tablets below Rs 5,000 and letting down their customers in terms of quality and durability.

The number of vendors selling tablets in India has halved to below 30 in just a year, afaqs reported, but at least half of the survivors are established international and Indian brands, such as Samsung, Micromax and Datawind.

Despite the growing popularity of pocket-sized phablets in the country, IDC senior analyst Karan Thakkar said he expected demand to grow for tablets with display sizes of 8-inches and above.

"The popularity of phablets has, in fact, overtaken the demand for just the 7-inch tablets and their return rates have been inexplicably large," he said.

"First-time users, latching onto such devices, are now looking to move to products that offer better experience in terms of life span and quality," he added.

Analysts are optimistic that 8-inch tablets, with their better display resolution and powerful memory, can offer great potential for the industry, especially from student buyers.

Capable of storing books, tablets can administer tests and also enable students to take part in group discussions and projects.

Data sourced from afaqs, IDC; additional content by Warc staff