APAC tablet market posts 12.9% growth in 2021 — IDC

Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, with businesses opting for work-from-home setup and schools resorting to online classes, the tablet market in the Asia Pacific (including Japan and China) region posted a 12.9% year-over-year (YoY) increase in 2021, according to the International Data Corp. (IDC) Quarterly Personal Computing Devices Tracker, Q4 2021.

Shipping more than 56 million units, the tablet market is expected to grow by 1.5% in 2022 as supply improves and robust demand continues. IDC also said consumer shipments grew by 20.7% YoY in 2021, totaling 43 million units.

“The tablet penetration rate has been increasing as there are more first-time purchasers,” said Jennifer Kwan, Senior Market Analyst for Client Devices Research at IDC Asia Pacific. “However, supply has been a concern for many tablet vendors, which hindered further growth of the tablet market.”

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The commercial market increased by 6.5% YoY in 2021. The private sector expanded with use cases in areas like food delivery services. The education segment declined, but shipments were still largely above pre-pandemic levels, supported by sizable education projects in Japan, India, Korea, and the Philippines.

First-time buyers

Several newcomers entered the Android tablet market in 2021, including Xiaomi and realme which launched new tablet models in the third quarter of 2021, as well as Nokia and Motorola in the fourth quarter of last year.

IDC expects more new vendors shall launch tablets in 2022, including OPPO and vivo.

“It’s interesting to see more smartphone vendors stepping into the tablet market,” Kwan said. “It helps ease the supply challenges and provides more product variety. We can expect the competition in the Android market to be fierce in 2022.”

The tablet market in APAC will reach 57.2 million units in 2022, with pandemic-driven purchases driving consumer demand in the first half. The supply side is also expected to improve in the region, benefiting from the entry of new vendors and the improved supply situation of other major vendors. Government initiatives to support hybrid learning models for students will continue to create opportunities in the education sector; several education projects in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam are expected to deploy in 2022.