JAKARTA: Sales of tablet PCs are rising rapidly in Indonesia, as increasingly affluent consumers rush to buy a diverse range of devices now on the market.

According to a study by GfK, the research firm, some 704,000 slates were purchased in the country during the last 12 months, collectively generating revenues of $385m.

Expansion rates for this category peaked in the third quarter of 2011, as value and volume sales more than doubled those recorded in the previous three months.

However, the analysis also suggested growth had "tapered off" since that point. As such, the pace of acceleration stood at 13% in the first quarter of 2012, when 277,000 units were sold.

Another discernible trend is the falling average price of tablets, a figure which has declined from $651 to $485 over the past year.

"Keen competition in the market has led to aggressive promotions as well as the introduction of more inexpensive models, resulting in more tablets selling at lower prices," said Guntur Sanjoyo, general manager of GfK Indonesia.

Jakarta is the city which has seen the highest volume demand overall, while Surabaya and Bandung have both witnessed a particular surge in uptake.

The average purchase price also hit $535 in Medan versus $415 in Semarang, where appliances made by indigenous manufacturers yielded nearly 40% of sales, compared with 20% nationwide.

"Although dominated by global brands, increasing numbers of local players have entered the market and are offering more affordable products which are going down well with consumers," said Sanjoyo.

Elsewhere, it was discovered that shoppers typically preferred devices boasting a smaller display, with 58% of the slates acquired in 2011 having a screen of below eight inches in size.

Indeed, 49 out the 80 tablet lines available in Indonesia had a screen of between seven and eight inches in size.

"With the growing prevalence of models which comes with the telephony feature, coupled with the affordable subscription plans offered by the operators, we can anticipate tablet performance to turn in an excellent report card boasting at least a twofold growth in 2012," Sanjoyo added.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff