Tablet the ‘device of choice’ of LGUs racing to ease remote learning dilemma
Tablet computers remain in high demand this year as local government units (LGUs) outside Metro Manila place orders for the mobile devices to support distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Market intelligence company International Data Corp. (IDC) said tablets were a “device of choice” among LGUs given their relatively low cost and ability to run educational apps and productivity tools.
Philippine tablet shipments nearly doubled to over 200,000 units in the second quarter of 2021 versus the previous year, IDC said.
“There has still been a relatively good number of tenders observed in 2021, but the volume are smaller compared to the tenders from last year as the new procurements are from the smaller LGUs outside of Metro Manila.” Angela Jenny Medez, client devices market analyst at IDC Philippines, said in an e-mail to the Inquirer.
Data from the company showed tablet shipments reaching about 800,000 units in the third and fourth quarter of 2020.
LGUs primary customer
Medez said orders mainly came from the governments of Manila, Pasig, Quezon City and Caloocan the previous year. Prices for tablets averaged $105 to $125 apiece, she added.
Last year, the Department of Education (DepEd) implemented distance learning to allow schools to continue while face-to-face classes were suspended during the health crisis. Medez said the DepEd itself was increasing orders for tablets.
“The tablet market’s performance for the rest of the year will still be driven mainly by the education segment due to procurements from other LGUs, as face-to-face classes have remained suspended until further notice due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases,” Medez said in a separate statement.
“However, we do not expect the same momentum compared to the previous year, as some local government units prioritize the rollout of vaccinations. New procurements will be from other cities outside of Metro Manila,” she added.
Some tablet manufacturers have capitalized on the demand surge better than others, data from IDC showed.
South Korea’s Samsung was the domestic leader in tablets with a market share of 45.4 percent in the second quarter of the year—a gain of over 140 percent year-on-year.
It was followed by China’s Lenovo, with 16.4 percent, and Philippine manufacturer Cherry Mobile, with 9.1 percent.
Chinese companies Huawei and Haier each had 6.5 percent of the market with the rest served by other brands.
Medez explained Cherry, Lenovo and Samsung offered competitive pricing within the budgets of the LGUs.
“In addition, they are able to deliver at scale within the short (15-30 days) timeframe required once the ‘notice to proceed’ letter has been issued,” she added.
—Miguel R. Camus INQ
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