China-based OEMs ramping unit shipments up to three million a month, targeting emerging markets in Asia and Latin America with cheap tablets running Google’s Android 4.0 OS.
Small and mid-sized computer makers in China are ramping up production of off-label tablets running Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile operating system, according to recent reports from Asian media sources.
China-based makers of the white-label tablets are now shipping three million units a month, according to market researcher eMedia Asia, up from just over an average of one million units per month over the course of 2011.
The research firm expects the total consumer tablet market to approach 50 million unit shipments in 2012.
China-based OEMs are producing tablets in a number of different sizes, with 7-inch, 8-inch, 9.7-inch, and 10.1-inch devices available to buyers who are mainly located in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America markets, DigiTimes reported Friday.
The mature consumer tablet markets of North America and Europe remain largely dominated by Apple’s iPad and look to remain so throughout 2012, according to various reports from industry research firms. Penetration of those markets by non-iPad devices is generally expected to come from major label brands like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family of products for the foreseeable future.
But emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere have proven more accessible to white-box computer makers, like the “hundreds of small- and medium-sized businesses [which] have entered the development and production of tablet PCs on an OEM, ODM or OBM basis” in China’s Guangdong province, according to DigiTimes.
Makers of white-label tablets are delivering functional Android tablets at a fraction of the price being charged by major label vendors, according to Tablet News. The blog reported this week that China-based tablet makers are able to put together a 10.1-inch Ice Cream Sandwich tablet with a 1024-by-600 resolution display and 4GB of storage that’s priced between $100 and $110, described as “a huge threat” to larger, established players in the tablet market.
By Damon Poeter, PCMag