Over 1.6 million tablets were bought across Southeast Asia over the span of 2011 with sales experiencing exponential growth.
Indonesia, the country with the 4th largest population in the region, saw a 97% spike in unit sales of tablets in Q4 2011 and took in over $284m in takings over the full year. Malaysia, however, had the highest tablet sales at the start and end of year with revenue totalling $374m, according to GfK retail and technology.
"Tablet sales, which started off on a slower note at the beginning of the year has definitely taken off in this part of the world, as reflected by the exponential growth within the year," said Gerard Tan, Account Director for Digital Technology at GfK Asia.
"In Indonesia, several key manufacturers were successful in stepping up their marketing and distribution efforts nearing the end of last year, as evident in the steep sales surge in the last quarter."
The most popular OS was Android selling over 1 million tablets with almost 2 in 3 tablets purchased across the region being an Android.
Its positive performance has carried over into 2012, generating almost $243m in sales in the first 2 months of this year.
"Due to the open source nature of the Android OS, tablets running on this system are generally priced lower than those running on other OS and its greater affordability encourages mass consumer adoption which in turn accelerates further development of its ecosystem." said Tan.
Prices of Android tablets were around $531 in the region during 2011 while other OS platforms had a price tag at $676.
Android being the least expensive OS may have been a significant factor in attracting more consumers as other OS systems were nearly 30% higher.
"The combined muscles of numerous manufacturers have helped proliferate adoption of Android OS in SEA," said Tan. "This is a compelling factor for developers to create more applications to cater to market needs, leading to the tightening of gaps between Android and the reigning market leader."
The Android’s strong presence in Southeast Asia is expected to continue long term.
"Moreover, the good transparency of the Android OS also bodes well in the business vertical industry, whereby specialized applications can be developed and implemented to improve a company’s productivity," said Tan. "As long as Google continues fine-tuning and improving its Android ecosystem, this OS is here to stay for the long haul."
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