Taipei, Sunday, February 1, 2015 13:05 (GMT+8)
mostly cloudy
Taipei
18°C
China white-box makers add extra value to tablets as cost reduction is no longer possible
Anthony Chen, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Thursday 16 January 2014]

China white-box players have not been able to lower their Wi-Fi-based tablets' prices since the third quarter of 2013 because there is no room for further reductions in their BOM costs.

The average BOM cost for a white-box tablet - most of which adopted a dual-core processors - stood at about US$25 as of the fourth quarter of 2013. Dual-core processor pricing could not drop any furrther, as their average prices came to about US$4, only less than US$1 higher than that of a single-core one.

Memory and 7-inch TN LCD panels are the two key components that account for major shares of white-box tablet BOM costs. However, most panel suppliers have been only willing to upgrade specifications instead of dropping their quotes, and therefore, white-box players have been left with upgrading their devices with better panels without an option of reducing the panel cost.

While cost reduction is no longer a feasible way to attract consumers, many white-box players have turned to push tablets with phone functions to increase their devices' functionalities and value. The devices also provide higher gross margins for vendors.

Digitimes Research estimates that currently, 80% of white-box tablets are available in countries other than China, because white-box tablets with phone functions have seen rising demand in Russia and other markets in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia since the second half of 2013.

China white-box players' partnerships with regional brand vendors in emerging markets have also helped raise local consumers' demand for tablets with phone functions.

In the first half of 2013, most white-box tablets with phone functions adopted China-based Allwinner Technology's solution which combined an entry-level single-core processor with a discrete baseband module. However, many white-box device makers have turned to MediaTek solutions for their tablets since thesecond half of 2013 after the Taiwan-based chipmaker also integrated a baseband chip into its tablet processor solution.

MediaTek's solution is more expensive, but its support for product development and hardware design has given it an upper hand over competitions. Meanwhile, independent design houses (IDHs), which provide white-box players with product design services, also started to design tablets using MediaTek's smartphone processors in the second half of 2013, which prompted white-box players to adopt MediaTek's solutions.

Digitimes Research estimates that tablets with phone functions will account for 40% of 7-inch white-box tablet shipments in 2014, up from 20% in 2013.

Topics: Page 2

2015 China IC design market forecast

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jan 23, 10:50

Global economic growth is forecast to reach 3.8% in 2015, up from 3.3% in 2014. From the perspective of the electronics industry though, PC shipments will continue to decline, smartphone shipment growth will drop, and tablet shipments may decline. Despite the...

2015 global AP market forecast and vendor analysis

RESEARCH EXTRAS | Jan 23, 10:46

Digitimes Research estimates that total 2014 AP shipments will reach 1.52 billion units worldwide, up 19.6% from 2013, and in 2015 the global market will see shipments of 1.65 billion units, growing 8.5% on year. The slowdown is mainly due to a shrinking tablet...

Taiwan digital cameras – 4Q 2014

TAIWAN ICT | Jan 28, 10:51

Taiwan makers saw an on-year rise in DSC shipments during the fourth quarter of 2014, as driver IC shortages that had hampered their shipments in the previous quarter eased. But shipments for the entire 2014 continued to fall, and the trend of decline does not...

Taiwan notebooks – 4Q 2014

TAIWAN ICT | Jan 21, 15:53

The notebook market saw significant demand for entry-level devices whose pricing levels were comparable to those of tablets in the fourth quarter of 2014, which maintained Taiwan ODMs' overall shipments at a level comparable to that of the previous quarter. But...

China touch panel industry – 3Q 2014

CHINA TOUCH | Nov 28, 18:54

The third quarter is a traditional boom season for touch panels and therefore China-based touch panel makers saw shipments increase for all major applications.

2015 global notebook demand forecast
Analysis of China revised domestic semiconductor industry goals
Trends and developments in the OTT market
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • Greater China touch panel shipment forecast through 2015

    This Special Report provides forecasts through 2015 for Greater China touch panel shipments with breakdowns based on technology (glass, film, resistive), application (smartphone, NB and tablet) and by firm.

  • 2014 global tablet demand forecast

    This report analyzes the main players, their strategies and shipments forecasts for 2014, as well as other factors contributing to either growth or decline in various segments within the tablet market, with a particular focus on Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, along with whitebox vendors.