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Tablet craze hits Nepal
Publication Date : 14-08-2013
With connectivity playing an ever significant role in the lives of the Nepalese, the usage of mobile tablets have seen remarkable growth.
The growing demand for the gadget has created a competitive market for distributing brands such as Samsung, Asus, Google, LG, Lenovo and Toshiba, among others, which have been trying to outdo each other by frequently introducing new devices, in an effort to maintain top positions in the market.
According to Amit Sharaf, managing director of Nagmani International, the sole authorised distributor of tablets from Asus and Google brands in Nepal, tablet sales have been soaring by up to 100 per cent annually.
"The branded segment of tablets have a niche market. However, it has seen significant growth," Sharaf said.
According to him, more and more people are buying tablets because they are convenient and handy to carry around. Sharaf estimated that around 2,000 branded tablets were sold in Nepal annually.
Other traders said that tablets from China and India accounted for a large chunk of the domestic tablet market - about 5,000 India and China-brand tablets were sold in Nepal each year.
"Tablets are replacing personal computers and laptops in Western countries, and their popularity is growing. In Nepal too, the market is growing slowly and steadily," said Bishal Shrestha, marketing manager at Mercantile Communications, the sole distributor of Acer tablets in Nepal.
"It has not been that long since we forayed into the tablet market, but the response we have received has been very encouraging," he said, adding that portability, easy connectivity and multiple usage were the major factors supporting popularity of tablets.
While most tablet users in Nepal are found among business owners, popularity of the devices is also growing among youngsters and those whose professions require them to stay connected while on-the-go. Among these, mid-level executives and tech-savvy students seem to prefer India and China brands.
According to Sharaf, more than 90 per cent of the tablets imported into Nepal are sold in Kathmandu, while other cities like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Butwal and Narayanghat are also seeing increasing interest.
On average, he said, people are willing to pay between 20,000 to 40,000 Nepalese rupees (US$203-$406) for branded tablets and no more than 10,000 rupees ($101) for tablets from India or China.
Both Sharaf and Shrestha predicted that the demand for tablets in Nepal will continue to soar in the near future.
"Tablets are currently a hit globally, and the trend will seep into the Nepalese market too," said Shrestha.
Sharaf concurred, saying that with tablet makers constantly unveiling new features in their devices, such as the ability to make phone calls, and tablet prices becoming more affordable, the gadget is bound to see a bright future in Nepal.