South Korean Market for Tablets Continues to Grow in Midst of Global Depression for Tablets

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While global tablet markets are going through slumps, South Korea's tablet market is growing steadily. Although general consumer markets are slowing down a bit, demands from B2B markets are increasing.

According to a research done by a market research company called IDC, 700,000 tablets were shipped from South Korea during first quarter of this year. This value is 160,000 and 240,000 more than the numbers of tablets that were shipped in first quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2014 respectively. In overall PC markets, market shares for tablets increased from 23% in first quarter of 2014 to 32% in first quarter of this year.

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South Korea's tablet market is going the opposite direction compared to how global tablet markets are going. According to an American market research company called SA (Strategy Analytics), 46.5 million tablets were sold globally during first quarter of this year and this value decreased by 10% compared to first quarter of last year. Due to recent increase in Smartphones with big screens, identity of tablets has become faint and led to decrease in demands.

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Demands for tablets are consistent in B2B areas in South Korea. Its growth is standing out in markets for private educations. Publishers and education businesses have requested for tablets through development of variety of programs such as rental of reading contents that are linked to tablets, online lectures and others.


"Unlike other countries, there are a lot of demands for tablets in markets for private educations in South Korea." said Kim Ae-ri who is the head researcher for Korea IDC. "As many doubts about effectiveness of tablets that are used to support learnings have resolved, people are starting to buy more tablets for learning purposes."

Tablet manufacturers are also working hard to look for new businesses in B2B areas. LG Electronics released Tablet PC G Pad 3 8.0, which is optimized for multimedia educations such as online lectures, reading and others, on the 31st of last month. It also made positive outcome in B2B transactions by signing contracts with education businesses such as Siwon School, Yoon's English School and others.

■ Progress of shipments of South Korean tablets ▲ Shipments of South Korean tablets in past 9 quarters were 469,439 (1st quarter of 2014), 295,579 (2nd quarter of 2014), 367,800 (3rd quarter of 2014), 343,017 (4th quarter of 2014), 544,040 (1st quarter of 2015), 594,362 (2nd quarter of 2015), 450,289 (3rd quarter of 2015), 412,455 (4th quarter of 2015), and 701,903 (1st quarter of 2016). Reference: IDC

■ Progress of shipments of South Korean tablets ▲ Shipments of South Korean tablets in past 9 quarters were 469,439 (1st quarter of 2014), 295,579 (2nd quarter of 2014), 367,800 (3rd quarter of 2014), 343,017 (4th quarter of 2014), 544,040 (1st quarter of 2015), 594,362 (2nd quarter of 2015), 450,289 (3rd quarter of 2015), 412,455 (4th quarter of 2015), and 701,903 (1st quarter of 2016). Reference: IDC

"Unlike in the past, education and image multimedia are becoming important in recent markets for tablets."said a spokesperson for LG Electronics. "We are going to strengthen our competitive edge in tablets by releasing new products that correspond to situations of growing markets."

Samsung Electronics is also working on expanding its B2B areas by installing specialized applications and other methods. It made contracts with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors and supplied 'Galaxy Tab S2' that is included with contract and vehicle estimate applications. It also supplied Galaxy Tabs to Yearimdang, which is an education business, before.

WolfNFox Computer Co., Ltd., which is a small South Korean PC manufacturer, is also planning to enter markets for tablets for private educations. It is currently expanding its business by preparing database based on small and medium academies and is looking to release tablets that are specialized for education in the future.

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"Variety of attempts using tablets are being carried out with distribution and banks at the center." said Kim Ae-ri. "Markets for tablets will continue to grow."

Staff Reporter Jung, Yeongil | jung01@etnews.com

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