Intel is set to ship 40 million application processors (APs) for tablets in 2014, up 400% from the volume in 2013, though most market watchers believe the goal is rather difficult to achieve. Digitimes Research has found that Intel is currently placing its focus on penetrating into the Android tablet market and is persuading brand vendors and China white-box players to join its camp by offering subsidies and support from its China-based supply chain, which Intel has been nurturing.
With Microsoft also seeing success for its detachable tablets with high price-performance ratios and set to become more aggressive in the entry-level Windows tablet segment in the second half, Digitimes Research expects the Windows on Intel platform to become another important contributor to Intel's tablet AP shipments for 2014.
Digitimes Research expects Intel to ship 32 million tablet APs in 2014, achieving 80% of its goal.
In terms of platform proportions, 60% of Intel's shipments will be adopted in Android-based models because the Android-on-Intel tablet is the main focus of Intel for 2014. Intel started offering technology support, marketing subsidies and CPU price cuts for Android-on-Intel tablets in the second half of 2013 and has been nurturing China's supply chain to provide low-price components.
Currently, Android-on-Intel tablets' costs are already lower than those of the same level Android-on-ARM models. Asustek Computer has already turned to adopt Intel's platforms for all of its Android-based product lines, while many brand vendors and China white-box players have also been considering following suit.
Since the Android tablet market's scale is far larger than that of Windows tablets, penetrating into the Android tablet market is much easier than expanding the Windows tablet market, Digitimes Research believes.
Although only 40% of Intel's tablet APs will be used in Windows-based tablets, the volume will still grow significantly to 12.8 million units in 2014. The growth will be contributed mainly by two factors: Microsoft and Asustek's jointly developed T100, which successfully entered a market segment that other notebook and tablet vendors have never touched; and Microsoft's decision to offer free Windows for 9-inch and below mobile devices, which provides Microsoft with chances to cooperate with white-box supply chain to develop entry-level Windows tablets.
Digitimes Research expects 65% of Intel's tablet AP shipments to go to brand vendors because their shipments are more stable and the two sides have been cooperating over notebook products for a long time.
The remaining 35% will be shipped to China's white-box players. In addition to providing the same subsidies to white-box players, Intel is also investing in China's supply chain to gain white-box players' trust.
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