Shipments of tablet-use application processors in China grew 8.3% on quarter and 19.5% on year in the fourth quarter of 2013, driven by the launch of new chips for tablet vendors to roll out new models during the year-end holiday season, according to Digitimes Research.
China-based Rockchip Electronics ranked as the number one tablet CPU supplier in the fourth quarter, buoyed by its comprehensive product portfolio which attracted orders from brand as well as white-box makers, said Digitimes Research.
Fellow company Allwinner Technology has expanded its product offerings, but not fast enough, causing stagnation in its shipment growth. Additionally, some of Allwinner's dual-core CPU shipments were delayed due to a shortage of wafer capacity.
Although MediaTek has been trying to duplicate the business model of its turnkey smartphone solutions in the tablet chip market, shipments of its tablet-use APs lagged behind Rockchip and Allwinner in the fourth quarter because MediaTek has paid too much emphasis on the voice communication functionality of its tablet chips, which are not competitive for entry-level tablets.
The top-three vendors – Rockchip, Allwinner and MediaTek – accounted for 75.7% of the tablet AP market in China in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 1.4pp from the previous quarter.
Most other chip vendors, including HiSilicon Technologies, Nvidia and Intel, saw their shipments nearly double in the fourth quarter, but their shipment volumes were far behind the top-three suppliers due to low shipment bases, Digitimes Research concluded.