Digitimes Research: China white-box players accelerate LTE tablet supply to Russia vendors

Joanne Chien and Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

Despite the fact that Russia's IT market has been greatly impacted by the fast depreciation of the country's currency, Digitimes Research expects demand for LTE tablets from Russia to continue growing in 2015 due to the rise of its regional brand vendors and strong consumer demand for high price/performance-ratio products.

During recent visits to firms in China's supply chain, Digitimes Research discovered that China's white-box makers have been accelerating their shipments of LTE-based tablets to Russia's regional brand vendors for replacement of 3G models.

Such shipments are expected to help the white-box players avoid competition from vendors of inexpensive tablets with phone functions and achieve better profits, as well as more market space for development.

Demand for phone-enabled tablets started emerging in Russia in 2011. Although the country's LTE communication service users only account for 1.5% of overall users, the country was still one of the top-10 LTE markets worldwide in 2013.

J'son & Partner research firm previously estimated that Russia had about 14% of its tablet shipments in the first quarter of 2014 being LTE-based models and sales for LTE-based tablets are estimated to have reached 1.7 million units in 2014, accounting for over 20% of Russia's overall tablet sales.

Digitimes Research expects LTE-ready models to account for 30% of Russia's overall tablet shipments in 2015.

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