Feeds

Analyst offers cut-price fondleslab recipe

Suggests PC-makers may undercut Apple and Amazon with $US150 'slab

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

SSA Digital is a little-known Chinese company that is very good at two things.

One is getting spam through the filters here at Vulture South, which is the only reason we know about the second thing at which it excels: making seven inch tablet computers so cheaply it is prepared to sell them for just $US40 apiece in lots of 10,000.

We've smiled nicely and asked SSA to send us one, but it has declined to do so.

PC makers do understand such niceties. They also understand that tablets are eating their lunch, at least at the low end (go visit an electronics store and ask where all the Netbooks have gone).

Which is why Taiwanese analyst outfit TrendForce has cooked up a recipe for a $150 tablet, as it feels that with Android seven-inchers now at $199 the only way PC companies can get into the game is by undercutting the likes of Amazon and Google on price.

To do so, they'll need to cut the following corners:

  • Use a cheap display TrendForce says prices for fringe field switching (FFS) displays have plateaued, making twisted nematic displays a cheaper alternative. That technology, however, produces a rubbish viewing angle. Enter 'view angle compensation film' a sheet of polymer that can return a display to respectable visibility at low cost.
  • G/F/F touch Premium touch screens us transparent conductors layered onto glass, and use two layers of glass in an arrangement known as “G/G”. A cheaper way to deliver a touch screen is with a G/F/F panel that has a top layer of glass, then two layers of film. G/F/F isn't as responsive as G/G, but costs 70 per cent less to make.
  • Cheap memory TrendForce points out that mobile DRAM costs $10 per gigabyte, while conventional DRAM is $3.50. Flash memory is a buck a gig in four-gig lots, or six dollars for an eight-gig module.
  • Cheap CPUs A decent CPU sets a tablet-maker back $24, TrendForce says. But comparable silicon can be had for $12.

The analyst's musings conclude that its recipe would allow allow PC-makers to come up with a bill of materials of $99 or less, but also says “Whether the potential low cost tablets will indeed become a major hit remains to be seen, as much of their quality and specs will likely be affected by the costs of the materials used.”

One piece of good news is that TrendForce feels cheap tablets from established brands will “intensify the pricing competition within the 2013 tablet market,” which could be helpful for those wishing the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire were just a little more affordable.

But there's also bad news for SSA Digital and its ilk, as the analyst says that if PC-makers got into the tablet caper it “will certainly put a lot pressure on China's white-box tablet makers.” Which may not be a bad thing: a $150 tablet with an inferior screen, slow CPU and little memory that drains the battery at high speed sounds dire.

SSA's lack of interest in a sending a review unit to Vulture South may therefore have been entirely sensible. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.