Why HP’s VoiceTab Makes Sense for India?

hp-voice-tabRenowned PC brand Hewlett-Packard (HP) is bringing two tablets with calling facility to the Indian market. They are launching the tablets on February 13. It would be HP’s global launch of its voice tablets.

HP’s voice tablets are named as HP Slate6 and Slate7 and are anticipated to run on android operating system. As the name suggests the HP Slate6 and HP Slate7 could be of 6 inches and 7 inches in size.

Though other technical specifications are not yet known officially, there are some information in the web from unconfirmed sources. But the interesting part is not HP voice tab’s technical specifications, rather its strategy for India.

India is world’s second largest and fastest growing telecom market. From devices perspective, the Indian mobile phones and tablet market is pegged at Rs 45,000 crore at the end of FY2013. While the overall mobile phone market grew by 15% in the last fiscal, the smartphone market grew by over 50%. More interesting is the tablet market grew by more than 103% to touch Rs 5000 crore in FY2013. Add to this, India added more than 150 million mobile phones to the tally in the same period, which is expected to grow at least at the same pace in the current year.

What all these means for HP and where does HP fit in the overall scheme of things? With the launch of the tablets, HP will be looking at a market which is dominated by Apple and Samsung from the global brands, and then there is a crowd of Chinese and Indian brands. Though the Chinese brands could able to make a mark in the overall mobile phone market, they have yet not did anything significant in the tablet space. Besides, the Indian tablet vendors too get their devices manufactured in China. In India, perception plays a vital role among prospective buyers. And HP, as a PC vendor, commands more than 30% market share in India, which might push its entry into the customers’ buying mind space.

Secondly, HP has done a good job by bringing voice enabled tablets to the market. Tablets with calling facility is gaining significant momentum in the country as the younger generation feels more convenient in carrying one device that can give them the usability of a mobile phone and the big-screen display of a laptop for its web usage. At present, Samsung is the dominant player in offering voice enabled tablets, though there are some indian vendors like Micromax, Lava and Xolo etc. Among the global device makers, except Apple and Samsung, others have been struggling in pushing their voice tabs in the Indian market.

HP, with its Slate6 and Slate7 has very good chance to punch some holes here, as it has a well established after sales service network, a robust distribution network and the leader in imaging business. With the entire ecosystem in place, HP can integrate all its business offerings to push its entry in Indian market.

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