Digitimes Research: White-box tablet shipments to reach 25 million in 3Q13
Anthony Chen, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Monday 11 November 2013]
China white-box tablet shipments reached about 25 million units in the third quarter of 2013, up 56.3% sequentially and 40.4% on year thanks to strong overseas shipments, which accounted for 80% of the total volume. Among white-box tablet shipments, 7-inch models accounted for the largest share, while 8-inch models, which were originally expected to become new star products, were unable to do so because of high costs from the bezel design and limited supply of 8-inch panels.
Although white-box tablets are expected to see extraordinary growth in 2013, they are also expected to face more obstacles and challenges in the future. First, they will see strong price competition from large brand vendors, which will offer Android-based products at price levels similar to those of white-box models. Second, the tablet market will gradually reach saturation and should no longer see demand as strong as before.
Third, white-box tablet costs have already hit the bottom margin, causing related assembly service providers and component suppliers to see limited profits. Several unhealthy players were already been eliminated from the market at the end of the second quarter, while the remaining players will need to rely on pumping up their shipments to support their profitability. However, such a strategy is unlikely to sustain for long, Digitimes Research noted.
Digitimes Research also found that white-box tablets in Europe or North America are mostly used as gifts in product promotions or bundling deals and therefore specifications are not as high as those of regular tablets. As for emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America, most consumers are buying white-box tablets with a single-core processor, because of limited purchasing power.
As for application processors (APs), 70% of white-box tablets with phone functions adopted solutions from MediaTek in the third quarter, replacing the solutions from China-based Allwinner, the original favorite. Digitimes Research estimates that the proportion of white-box Wi-Fi-only tablets using MediaTek's solution will also increase dramatically starting the fourth quarter, further impacting China-based Allwinner and Rockchip's AP shipments. In addition to low prices, China-based AP suppliers will also need to consider how to create additional value for their APs to survive the competition.
Digitimes Research: White-box vendors ship 22.3 million tablets in 2Q14 (Aug 12)
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments in 1Q14 to drop over 20% sequentially (Jan 27)
Digitimes Research: Global tablet shipments in 4Q13 estimated at 78.45 million units (Jan 24)
China white-box makers add extra value to tablets as cost reduction is no longer possible (Jan 16)
Digitimes Research: Shipment share of 8-inch tablets increases in December (Jan 6)
Big brand tablet installed base to surpass 285 million, says ABI Research (Dec 20)
MediaTek to launch 6-8 tablet CPUs in 2014 (Nov 25)
Digitimes Research: Non-Apple brand vendors to ship 105 million tablets in 2014 (Nov 19)
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Intel to cooperate with China white-box players for mobile devices (Oct 30)
China white-box tablet players expand presence (Oct 18)
Taiwan tablet panel makers see low order visibility as competition intensifies (Sep 27)
White-box tablet vendors aggressively cutting prices to stay competitive (Sep 26)
China white-box makers likely to face rising DRAM costs (Sep 26)
Digitimes Research: White-box tablet shipments suffer over 25% drop in 2Q13 (Sep 2)
More China-based white-box tablet makers shifting to MediaTek solutions (Aug 21)