Middle East tablet market rises 90% in 2012

Figures suggest tablets will overtake PCs in MENA by 2016
Visitors try out the Apple iPad mini at a display table at a Gravis Apple retailer on November 6, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Apple recently released the Mini to compete with the growing number of small, tablet computers and the company is hoping for a strong Christmas season. (Getty Images)
By Anil Bhoyrul
Wed 06 Mar 2013 04:20 PM

The overall MEA tablet market in 2012 grew by 90% year-on-year, according to the latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC).

This surge is the result of a number of factors, including cheaper tablet entrants, reduced prices by vendors, and overall rising consumer demand for these devices.

Increasing interest in tablets as an educational tool will ensure further strong growth throughout the MEA region.

"Currently, tablets are used predominantly as entertainment devices," said Victoria Mendes, a research analyst with Personal Computing, Systems and Infrastructure Solutions at IDC.

"However, we expect to see bigger demand for tablets in the corporate segment. In particular, we expect OEMs to use the enhanced features and capabilities of the Windows 8 platform to lure their existing corporate clients into adopting tablets for their organizations. This will, however, have to be coupled with lowered prices, as tablets running on the Windows 8 operating system are much more expensive than those running on Android OS, especially in light of the tough economic situation," she added.

From an operating systems perspective, the share of iOS in the MEA region is expected to decline, while Android and Windows will continue to grow throughout the forecast period.

"Low-cost models are expected to be one of the key contributors towards the growth of the tablet market, boosting the share of Android as well," said Fouad Charakla, research manager at IDC. "However, these low-cost tablets will not be considered as primary computing devices by most end-users," he added.

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