Toshiba seeking exclusive content to boost tablet sales in developing countries

A company executive said Toshiba is pursuing deals with content providers and announced a deal with an Indonesia media group

A Toshiba executive said his company will look to differentiate its tablets in emerging countries by pre-loading them with exclusive, local content.

"Products and services that fit Asia are different than those that fit Africa, or South America," said Masaki Osumi, who runs Toshiba's Digital Products and Services unit. "We are actively pursuing local content partners in each region."

As an example of the strategy, the company announced a deal with an Indonesian media group to provide apps exclusively for its new 7-inch Regza tablet that goes on sale there next week. The tablet will come pre-installed with eight exclusive apps developed by Gramedia Majalah Group, offering a variety of content including soccer news, interior design articles and recipes.

The tablet will go on sale for about ¥50,000 (US$640) and will mark Toshiba's first tablet launch in Asia, outside of Japan.

While tablet rivals such as Apple and Amazon boast their own content ecosystems, dedicated hardware manufacturers, many with similar specifications and Android-based software, are struggling to differentiate themselves from the masses.

Osumi said his company is currently pursuing similar tie-ups in other regions such as India and Vietnam, and is aiming to launch Regza tablets with dedicated content in those countries from April of next year.

Toshiba is also developing more products specifically for such regions, like a US$399 laptop with large speakers for music and video.

He said the firm is sticking to its goal of selling a million Regza tablets in the fiscal year that runs through April, though "99 per cent" of them would come from advanced regions such as Japan, the U.S. and Europe.

Toshiba aims to aggressively expand in developing countries, aiming to sell half of its TVs, tablets and other such products in those regions by the fiscal year that runs through April 2014.

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