Tablet adoption limited to consumer markets, analyst says

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tablets are expected to make a splash in Peru's residential segment this year, while interest is seen bypassing corporate sector clients, the head analyst at local consultancy firm Dominio Consultores, Victor Velarde, told BNamericas.

Dominio is still gathering market data, but Velarde said that with the exception of price-sensitive consumers, tablet PCs are expected to chip away at netbook sales among home users.

"With the introduction of tablets, netbooks will be left with fewer distinguishing characteristics," he said. "When the tablet entrance picks up, it will start to lower the presence of netbooks. But we think that laptops will still maintain a significant market share."

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Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Samsung are among the early birds in Peru's tablet market, but the overall offering is expected to increase significantly this year, according to the analyst.

Even so, tablet interest among corporate users will remain dormant.

"We still have not seen tablets enter businesses," he said. "Businesses still maintain their desktops, and are migrating to laptops. We don't expect migrations from desktops directly to tablets to take place."

Japanese electronics manufacturer Toshiba's Latin America general director for computing systems, Edgar González, painted a slightly different picture, after telling BNamericas late last year that tablet PCs would be snapped up by both residential user as well as companies in vertical markets such as insurance and healthcare.


Dominio forsees Peru's desktop sales growing 6-7% in volume this year, reaching 800,000 units, while market value will advance 3-4% to US$300mn. Sales of portable PCs - referring to laptops and netbooks - are seen growing 45-50% in volume and 48-50% in value, topping off at 700,000 units and US$450mn, respectively.

Velarde said presidential elections slated for this year will not slow private sector PC sales, but could jeopardize government PC purchases for the educational sector.

"There is uncertainty [regarding] purchases being made," he said. "Right now, the political debate is more focused on scandals, and not as much in details. Some [of the candidates] talk about improvements in education, but they have not specified how they will be achieved or if technology will be included."

Meanwhile, desktop sales increased 26% in volume last year, while laptop sales spiked 69% and netbooks surged 110%.

BNamericas previously reported that HP (NYSE: HPQ), Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Acer represented the main portable PC market players in Peru, while manufacturers with the strongest foothold in desktops included HP, Lenovo and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL).

Velarde said he expects no major market share shifts in either product segment this year.