NEW DELHI: Tablet sales in India are set to double this year to at least 6m units, offering a considerable opportunity for brand owners, according to a report.

CyberMedia Research, the insights group, stated that tablet sales hit 1.1m units in the third quarter of 2012, up from 550k in the second quarter. It also forecast that 3m gadgets were likely to have been sold over the whole year.

Looking ahead, the organisation projected that a minimum of 6m tablets would be purchased in India in 2013. Greater government, educational and corporate uptake may push this total higher still. 

During the July to September period last year, the average price of a tablet remained largely static at Rs13,200, although 63.5% of acquisitions were made below the Rs10,000 pricepoint.

Approximately 135 firms have launched tablets in India, but 91% of sales in the third quarter of last year were powered by Google's Android operating system. A further 78% had seven-inch screens.

Samsung led the market with a 23.9% share of shipments, up from 13.3% in the previous quarter. Micromax, in second saw a slide from 18.4% to 15.3% in this timeframe.

Datawind was in third position, recording 12.3% on this measure. It has promised to deliver a bulk order of its Aakash tablet to the Indian government for around Rs2,260 per unit, well below the sector norm.

However, CyberMedia predicted low-cost tablets would fade out as three price points solidify: the Rs5,000 to Rs10,000 bracket, the Rs15,000 to Rs20,000 range, and devices costing Rs35,000 or more.

"Some vendors might have to undertake price corrections to fit their devices within these three price segments, to serve the market aptly and participate in these high-volume price levels," the company added.

This trend could boost the major international firms: Samsung's Tab 2, for example, is retailing at around Rs18,000, relatively cheap for a leading player.

"We expect to see a change in the rankings, with global leaders like Apple and Google coming into their own, especially after the launch of the Apple Mini and Google Nexus range of media tablets, respectively," said Tarun Pathak, an analyst at CyberMedia Research.

Data sourced from RTN; additional content by Warc staff