HO CHI MINH CITY: The tablet market in Vietnam is growing fast thanks to the increased availability of low-priced models, new figures have shown.

According to researcher GfK there has been double-digit growth in sales of entry level tablets during the first five months of the year, Inside Retail Asia reported.

"Over three in every four media tablets sold so far in 2015 cost less than US$300, as compared to just one in two in 2014, signifying a strong shift in market trends towards the low-end segment," said Tran Khoa Van, managing director of GfK in Vietnam.

"The result of more media tablets being sold at lower prices brought about a shrinkage in the total market value in spite of strong consumer demand for the gadget," he added

In fact, the value of the tablet market has contracted by around 5% as a result of the shift to cheaper products.

The share of the market accounted for by top-end tablets (those costing over US$500) has halved in a year, from 29% to 14%; the share taken by mid-range ones (costing US$300-500) has seen a similar decline, from 22% to 11%.

GfK indicated that the average price of a tablet has fallen by some 30% in the past year.

"Price erosion is a natural progression of a tech product's lifecycle," remarked Van, "and the average price of media tablets will definitely be drifting down further from the low of US$250 reported in the latest tracked month of May."

Not unconnected with the falling price is the growing popularity of smaller screen tablets. Seven in ten (71%) purchased this year were less than 7.9 inches, up from 62% last year.

The increased volume of sales, however, bodes well for the potential of ecommerce, Inside Retail Asia noted. By the end of the year, GfK expected that 1.9m units would be sold, with an additional boost coming in third quarter back-to-school promotions.

Data sourced from Inside Retail Asia; additional content by Warc staff