More than 1 million tablets were sold in India between October and December 2012, accounting for 35.33 percent of the total tablet shipments in the entire year, according to a report concerning tablet shipments in India by CMR. Shipments for the full year clocked 3.11 million units.

In the last quarter of 2012, Samsung, Micromax and Karbonn led the 5-inch and above screen size market in the country with a share of 20 percent, 15.7 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively. In 2012, Samsung, Micromax and Apple led the market (5-inch and above screen size) with a share of 25.1 percent, 14.3 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively. 

In the last quarter of 2012, Micromax, Karbonn and Datawind led the 7-inch and above screen size market, with a share of 19.04 percent, 9.85 percent and 9.64 percent, respectively. In 2012, Micromax, Apple and Samsung led the 7-inch and above screen size market with a share of 17.07 percent, 10.88 percent and 10.39 percent, respectively. It should be noted that the Datawind numbers do not include shipments of the Aakash tablet. 

Blinking is key! (Image credit: Getty Images)

A total of 72 vendors shipped tablets in India in 2012 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Commenting on the results, Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Telecoms Analyst, CMR, said, “The year 2012 and particularly the last two quarters (3Q 2012 and 4Q 2012) were significant for the Indian tablet market. We have seen the market for these devices grow substantially in 2012, particularly in the second half which made up for over 70 percent of the total sales.

Last year, the new category 'phablets' accounted for 16.5 percent of total sales, and this trend is expected to only strengthen in the coming quarters. The CMR report also found the user profiles, market dynamics and the product orientation of ‘phablets’ to be very different from that of tablets. 

Tarun Pathak, Telecoms Analyst, CMR, noted that South Korean giant Samsung has been able to consistently lead the market because of the “first-mover advantage” it gained with the launch of the Galaxy Note and Note II. However, he believes that this is not a lasting strategy, since it has led to the creation of a new form-factor segment—that of phablets—and it has been bringing in competitors across the price spectrum board. “With the entrance of Apple at the top end and multiple Chinese and Indian players at the entry-level, the phablet segment is only going to see increased competition in the foreseeable future,” he said.  

“This is also proved if we look at the same market with the new perspective of ‘phablets’ being a separate and distinct category, based on the revised CMR definition for tablets starting 2013. The market rankings for 2012 and change altogether with Samsung witnessing a major change in its standing. So if Samsung has to be a strong brand in the tablet market, it has to adopt a long term sustainable strategy along with nurturing the ‘phablets’”, Pathak added. 

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