Computing - Mobile Computing
Computex 2013 Observation Highlights: Tablet
July 03, 2013 / Joen Yang
9 Page, Radar
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At Computex 2013 held in Taipei, it is observed that Apple and Samsung both were absent and Android tablets accounted for the largest share of products demonstrated at the event. As for Windows OS, Windows 8.1 models were only demonstrated at the Microsoft forum at the exhibition, mainly 2012 models, and the share of 2013 models were relatively slim. Amid the low-price competition and the lack of killer innovations to form factor designs and UIs (User Interfaces), the share of tablets equipped with MTK or Chinese branded APs is increasing in 2013, instead of the APs (Application Processors) developed by international brands like Nvidia and TI as in 2012. This report profiles tablets demonstrated at Computex 2013 and examines the future trends of the tablet industry.
  •  Table of Contents
  •  List of Topics
  •  List of Figures
  •  List of Tables

Chain Key for Competition in the Low-cost Tablet Sector

Lowering prices of tablets has become one of major strategies that PC vendors employ for a bigger slice of market share. Except some Windows 8 tablets featuring different form factor and keyboard input designs for product differentiation, other Android tablets look virtually the same. As for the adoption of key components, the cost pressure resulted from the influence of low-cost strategy has forced tablet makers to adopt key components provided by Chinese AP or turnkey solution suppliers instead of international AP branded vendors.

In the future, PC branded vendors will segment their product lines. For low-cost tablets, they tend to embrace more cost-competitive key components from Chinese suppliers. The reference design - the popular technical blueprint in the Chinese mobile phone market - has been widely used in the manufacturing process of Chinese white-box tablets. In addition, PC vendors have also begun to adopt the reference design for low-cost tablets. The introduction of reference design invented to help vendors accelerate time-to-market means that in the future, vendors' degree of control over the supply chain will be key factor to help their products stand out in the low-cost competition.

7- to 8-inch Tablets Remain Market Mainstream

Tablets were originally designed to tap demand for entertainment and convenience purposes. They are favored by consumers because of the simple form factor designs and user interfaces. Tablets based on the two-in-one design concept, however, are developed in the direction similar to multi-task, high power efficiency notebook PCs. It is predicted that following Microsoft's efforts to promote the adoption of Windows 8 OS and touch screens, the boundaries between large-sized, efficiency-based tablets and notebook PCs will become blurrier. Compared to notebook PCs equipped with full-PC functions, notebook PC-like tablets with screen sizes over 10-inches will lose their portability advantage and will target at the niche market demand like ultrabooks whereas the mainstream tablets will still be mainly concentrated on 7- and 8-inch models. Nevertheless, convertible notebook PCs tend to be well accepted by consumers compared to tablets with external keyboards.


Glossary of Terms






Central Processing Unit



High Definition Multimedia Interface



Network Attached Storage



Operating System



System on Chip



Thermal Design Power



Wireless Display



Wireless Fidelity

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