NEW DELHI: Demand levels for tablets are rising rapidly in India, a process driven by increasing competition and the roll out of low-cost devices.

CyberMedia, the information provider, reported that 550,000 such gadgets were shipped in the second quarter of 2012, a more than 50% expansion quarter on quarter, and a 673% annual increase.

Micromax, a domestic electronics group, currently holds the largest market share in the country on 18.4%. Samsung, the South Korean multinational, followed next on 13.3%.

Apple, the US multinational which dominates the sector in nations like the UK and US, occupied third place, on 12.3% overall.

However, this meant that 56% of shipments were divided between players outside the top three. More specifically, 47.4% of the total went to products targeting areas including entertainment and education.

"This trend demonstrates clearly that vendors are positioning their devices at India's youth," Faisal Kawoosa, the lead analyst at CyberMedia Research's telecoms practice, said, as reported by Livemint.

Some 90 companies were thought to have launched tablets by the end of the second quarter, with 1.4m gadgets shipped in India to date, the study added.

The average price of these appliances fell to Rs13,000 in the last quarter, compared with Rs26,000 in the opening three months of the year, indicating that low-cost offerings are becoming more prevalent.

Google's Android was utilised by 87.5% of tablets shipped in the second quarter, 79.7% had seven-inch screens, and 69.6% boasted wi-fi connections.

"The share of devices based on other operating systems like Windows, iOS and QNX are expected to rise in future in view of the recent announcement of the Microsoft Windows Surface Tablet, the global launch of the Apple iPad3 and reduction in BlackBerry Playbook prices," said Kawoosa.

Jayanth Kolla, co-founder of Convergence Catalyst, the research firm, estimated that between 760,000 and 825,000 slates had been purchased in India from October 2010 to the middle of June 2012.

"In the case of tablets, we are not sure of the actual numbers of shipments versus sales as of now," he said.

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff