Different strokes

Can tablet devices really experience the explosive growth that mobile phones have?

Illustration by Kishore Das

What comes to your mind when you hear names like VeeDee, Black Elemente, Zinglife, Swipe, Ice Xtreme, Kobian and Redd? Deodorants, maybe? Apparel brands or pubs? How about, none of the above? These are just some of the over 135 brands of tablet computers that have flooded the Indian market in the past year or so. Almost all the big brands — Apple, Samsung, Asus, Sony, Dell, BlackBerry et al — are already present in the country but, while they have their fans and aspirational value, apparently it’s the Xelectronics and Zyncs that are flying off the shelves. According to data from CyberMedia Research, over 63% of all tablets sold in India cost under ₹10,000. And boy, are they selling — 2012 sales are likely to have crossed 3 million, up six times from 500,000 in 2011; the research firm’s forecast for 2013: at least 6 million.