. Space Industry and Business News .

Tablet war heats up as Asia challenges iconic iPad
by Staff Writers
Singapore (AFP) June 23, 2011

A tablet war is heating up in Asia as companies from China, South Korea and Taiwan challenge the dominance of Apple's iPad on features and price, analysts said.

Asia is a major battleground because of the presence of alternatives offered by top global brands like South Korea's Samsung as well as cheaper choices from dozens of smaller firms, many of them from China.

By one estimate, Asia will account for about a third of tablet sales by 2015, triggering a race for market share by big and unknown brands alike.

Chinese technology firm Huawei became the latest company to jump on the bandwagon when it launched the MediaPad, which has a seven-inch (178-millimetre) screen and is powered by Google's Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system.

Making its global debut at this week's CommunicAsia trade fair in Singapore, the MediaPad sports Qualcom's dual-core 1.2GHz processor.

It is just 10.55 mm (0.4 inches) thick and weighs 390 grams (0.86 pounds), making it much lighter than an iPad2.

"With the Huawei MediaPad, we are demonstrating yet again that design, functionality and performance is within everyone's reach," said Victor Xu, chief marketing officer of Huawei Device.

The market is already abuzz with models such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the HTC FlyerTM by Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC and the ZTE Light tablet by Chinese manufacturer ZTE.

Add to these other Western brands such as the BlackBerry Playbook by Canada's Research in Motion and a growing array of inexpensive gadgets from little-known vendors and the field is widening up for competition.

"We see Apple's market share declining -- in a growing market -- as credible alternatives emerge from a variety of manufacturers," said Tim Renowden, an analyst with technology research firm Ovum.

"The emergence of lower-cost tablets, predominantly running Google's Android operating system, will be an important opportunity for Asian manufacturers," he told AFP.

He said Samsung and HTC "are arguably the front runners with their experience producing smartphones".

However, Chinese technology companies such as Huawei and ZTE "are also actively pursuing market share and can potentially succeed with lower-cost devices", he said.

In addition, traditionally PC-focused companies like Acer and Asus of Taiwan have also launched some interesting tablet products.

"All of these players are really competing against each other, more than they are competing with Apple," Renowden said.

Industry research firm Gartner has said the iPad accounted for a hefty 84 percent of the total 17.6 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010, with that share tipped to decline to 69 percent of 70 million to be sold this year.

Bryan Ma, an analyst with technology industry consultancy IDC, said although the iPad is expected to remain a major player in Asia, the region is different from Western markets.

Samsung is strong in South Korea because of nationalist sentiment, while the massive China market is awash in inexpensive tablets known as "white box" devices because of their obscure brands.

"In that sense there's an interesting activity that's giving Apple some competition. A lot of these guys are low-priced players," Ma told AFP.

"They might not necessarily have that cool cachet that Apple has but... these Chinese vendors are selling these products overseas, to other developing markets as well like Indonesia, parts of the Middle East and Africa."

Apple's advantage is that it has cultivated an image as a "cool product, and in many cases there is that status symbol element," Ma said.

"It's in the local culture. People will aspire to that social status to carry an Apple product."

Ovum's Renowden said the Asia-Pacific market was big enough for several players, forecasting tablet sales to reach 50 million units in 2015 out of a global total of 150 million.

"The market is certainly big enough for a number of players to be profitable," he said.

"But competition is already fierce and standing out from the crowd is important, as is maintaining good relationships with distributors, both retail and through telco partners."

Ma expects some competitors to fall by the wayside.

"Frankly, the market is over-saturated, there's way too many vendors trying to participate in this market than there is demand for," he said.

"We expect that there are going to be vendors that will find that they are not shipping enough volumes and they will eventually back out of the market both this year and probably in the upcoming year," he added.

"There's going to be some sifting of the market, the dust still needs to settle a bit because it's still very, very early stages."

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Nokia heralds 'new season' as market share slumps
Singapore (AFP) June 21, 2011
Troubled mobile phone giant Nokia on Tuesday expressed confidence it can reverse its sagging fortunes and remain a market leader amid stiff competition from rivals such as Apple and Samsung. Chief executive Stephen Elop said at a regional telecoms fair in Singapore that the Finnish company was making good on promises to overhaul itself and unveiled a new high-end phone, the N9, to bolster hi ... read more

Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy

Rare earth minerals prices skyrocket

Tablet war heats up as Asia challenges iconic iPad

Android phones to pit vampires against slayers

Network Integration Tests Aim to Reduce 'Fog of War'

Raytheon Receives US Navy Contract to Support Satellite Communication System

Firebird Uses Three Eyes and Fourth Sensor Payload

New military radio unveiled

Arianespace receives the next Ariane 5 for launch in 2011

SpaceX Secures Launch Contract In Major Asian Market

SES-3 Satellite Arrives At Baikonour Launch Base

Shipments Of Sea Launch Zenit-3Sl Hardware Resume On Schedule

Cont-Trak offers reliable container tracking via satellite

Helping shape space-based technology policies

Russia plans to launch six Glonass satellites in 2011

India plans to make GPS more accurate with GAGAN

Chile's LAN opts for eco-efficient Airbus

Embraer wins more orders for regional jet

Ryanair steals spotlight, Airbus ups pressure on Boeing

China claims its place at Paris airshow

Magnetic properties of a single proton directly observed for the first time

Putting a new spin on computing

Camera lets people shoot first focus later

New compact microspectrometer design achieves high resolution and wide bandwidth

Raytheon's First-of-Its-Kind Space-Based Hyperspectral Sensor Marks Second Year on Orbit

NASA/NOAA GOES Project Releases 2 Week Movie of Chilean Volcanic Eruption

Landsat 5 Satellite Sees Mississippi River Floodwaters Lingering

Landsat 5 Satellite Helps Emergency Managers Fight Largest Fire in Arizona History

Nepal marks becoming land mine-free

Rio eco-summit 'top priority' for UN

Lead-poisoned Chinese children denied care: HRW

Bangladesh shipyards back in business

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement