Gartner: Industry demand to spur tablet sales in China

Apple controls close to three-quarters of the Chinese tablet market

The increasing use of tablets in the hospitality, insurance, finance, retail, transportation, and education vertical markets is expected to fuel a surge in tablet shipments in China over the next four years, predicted market research firm Gartner

Overall, tablet shipments are expected to equal mobile PC shipments in China by 2016, reaching 57 million units in that year. This increase in demand will be fueled by a drop in the average price of tablets to $176 in 2016, down from $262 last year.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) currently dominates the Chinese tablet market with close to three-quarters of the market, according to China-based Analysys International. Lagging in a distant second is Lenovo with 8 percent of the market, and Samsung and Egen tied for third at 3.6 percent each.

"In common with many emerging markets, cloud and mobile initiatives are hot ... In mobility, China is a market characterized by strong local flavors, especially in the fast growing smartphone and tablet markets," said Matthew Cheung, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner predicts that leading Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo will be the top smartphone vendor in China by 2013, overtaking South Korea's Samsung for the top spot. Lenovo will benefit from household brand recognition, a nationwide distribution system, a strong portfolio and competitive pricing.

Lenovo posted impressive numbers in the third quarter of this year, snatching 14.8 percent of the Chinese smartphone market, up from a mere 1.7 percent in the same quarter last year. This compares with Samsung, with a 16.7 percent market share, and Apple, with a 6.9 percent market share in the most recent quarter.

Apple is not ceding the Chinese smartphone market to Samsung and Lenovo, however. Apple expects to begin selling its new iPhone 5 next month through China Telecom, which recently received government approval to sell the smartphone in the country, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Apple posted strong sales in China in the most recent quarter. It reported sales of $5.7 billion, around 16 percent of its total revenue for the quarter, according to the report.

Overall, enterprise spending on IT in China is expected to grow from $117.8 billion in 2013 to $172.4 billion in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 8 percent, compared to a global growth rate of 3 percent over the same period, according to Gartner.

For more:
- see Gartner's China predictions
- read the Wall Street Journal article

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