Best SA tablet brand revealed

Samsung has won the tablet category in the TGI Icon Brand Awards. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Samsung has won the tablet category in the TGI Icon Brand Awards. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Samsung has been named the best tablet in South Africa for a second year in row as the South Korean electronics giant powers ahead with market share in developing countries.

The TGI 2014/2015 Icon Brand Awards cover over 8 000 brands across 170 categories and highlight the best brands as chosen by South African consumers.

"To be named amongst the top brands that have won the hearts, votes and loyalty of South Africans is hugely encouraging and we will continue to strive to listen to our consumers and respond to their evolving needs," said Michelle Potgieter, director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA.

The award, which is based on actual usage of devices, indicates that Samsung is a Platinum Icon brand, but may not have penetration across all demographics, according to the Target Group Index (TGI).

In second was Apple's iPad with BlackBerry in third, though the Canadian manufacturer was showing a decline.

The award seems to cement Samsung's drive in SA and other developing countries where the jump to smart mobile technologies has seen a wave of people being able to connect to the internet even as data and device cost remain barriers to entry.

Facebook announced on Monday that 100 million people in Africa visit the social networking site regularly, with 80% doing so on a mobile device.

Profits

But despite the accolade, Samsung is under pressure.

Softer sales of its flagship smartphones have seen the firm take a punch on profits.

According to reports Samsung profits fell 20% in the year up to June, but the company has a few tricks up its sleeve. It is likely that the aluminium-encased Galaxy Alpha will make it to SA before 25 December. It is scheduled for release in the UK on 12 September, though pricing is unclear.

Speculation is also rife that Apple will release a new version of the iPhone with a larger screen to compete directly with devices from Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG and others.

Also, a number of companies have launched tablets that take direct aim at Samsung. In particular, Sony's Z3 Tablet Compact has a 20cm (8 inch) display and is waterproof.

Acer on Monday announced the launch of three tablets to please both Android and Windows fans.

Cost will inevitably be a key factor in success for manufacturers in the smart device arena.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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