Tablets sales to overtake Laptops in East Africa
A new research has revealed that IT spending in the East African region recorded the highest growth rate among the four main regions of Africa with spending estimated to have grown from $7.8 billion to $9.6 billion in year ending December 2013. Nevertheless, spending this year is expected to grow by 10 percent over the $9.6 billion spent on IT last year. The fastest market growth is going to be felt in consumer spending since inflationary pressures are expected to ease across the region hence boosting the consumer demand for basic and luxury goods. Also the stronger currencies could be the biggest factors impacting the higher-than-expected spending. The volume of tablet computers sold in the East African market last year is expected to reach 4million, which will many tech experts in the region claim would be the first time ever tablets are going to overtake the number of laptops in a single calendar year. Laptop and computer combined sales were expected to reach 5 million units by year’s end but many predict that target will not be met. Tablet market just like Phablets and smartphones in East Africa are driven very specifically by prices and in most cases they are cheaper than Notebooks, Laptops and Desktop computers.
Tablets are cheaper and therefore the amount of money spent on consumer gadgets is going down and are very popular with under 40 years East Africans. Multiple studies in the main markets of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have noted that the devices dominating the market were mostly cheap, Asian manufactured tablets from mainly China, Taiwan and Indonesia or those imported from India, bought in rupee and thus slightly shielded from the local currency weakening against the US dollar. The Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya shillings declined slightly in 2013 against the dollar amid a widening trade deficit. Overall, spending on IT by East African consumers is expected to reach $10.56 billion this year, slightly lower than previous estimates of $12 billion and will represents a half of East Africa’s total IT spending. Also, the IT spending by medium-sized enterprises is expected to continue growing. After scrutinizing those numbers, it is clear that there is clear indication enterprises will continue to spend on IT. In most cases like college and University students they don’t want to but because they have to while the business community has no option but to meet the regional trend that requires for automation in business amid stiffer competition. Spending by the retail and service sectors across the region is expected to reach $700 million by mid 2014, and later grow to $1.3 billion end of 2014 with Tanzania expected to account lion share for that growth.