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Intel making mark in tablet arena

Posted: 02 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atom? Android? tablets? Windows 8?

Intel Corp. is rapidly expanding its presence in the media tablet market, according to analysts who believe Intel's potential to generate sizable profit in the tablet space is underestimated by investors.

In a report circulated Monday, Ross Seymore, a research analyst from Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., said Intel has a market share of more than 90 per cent of Windows-based tablets. Windows-based tablets accounted for a surprising 7.5 per cent of the tablet market in the first quarter, according to data released last week by market research firm Strategy Analytics Inc.

Seymore said Intel expects its tablet SoC shipments to double in the second quarter compared with the first quarter as it continues to ramp the Clover Trail version of its Atom SoC for Windows 8 and Lexington for Android.

Second quarter tablet shipments are expected to remain essentially flat with first quarter shipments, according to Seymore. Shipments of Apple's iPadsstill the leader in market shareare expected to decline sharply, Seymore said, which implies significant market share gains for Intel.

"We note that Intel had essentially no presence in tablets in 2012 and therefore any presence in 2013/2014 yields share gains and a revenue generator to at least partially offset weakness in the traditional PC market," Seymore wrote.

Windows tablets featuring Intel's Clover Trail Atom SoC are now available at price points as low as $449, Seymore said. These tablets largely negate any bill of materials savings offered by ARM SoCs while offering similar performance and power efficiency, he said.

Bay Trail should be compelling

Intel's Bay Trail version of Atom, due in the second half of the year, should be a compelling product, Seymore said. The Bay Trail version of Atom will be the first SoC to support both Android and Windows 8, enabling OEMS to simplify platform designs and hit price points as low as $200, he said.

Strategy Analytics reported that global branded tablet shipments reached a record high of 40.6 million units in the first quarter, up 117 per cent from the first quarter of 2012. "Demand for tablets among consumer, business and education users remains strong," said Peter King, director of tablet research at the firm.

King said Android captured a record 43 per cent share of global branded tablet shipments in the first quarter, up 34 per cent from the first quarter of 2012. Global Android tablet shipments increased 177 per cent year-over-year to reach 17.6 million units, King said.

Including white box tabletstablets produced by an ODM or other contract manufacturer that are re-branded by another companyAndroid tablets held 52 per cent of the market in the first quarter, higher than 41 per cent of the market for Apple's iOS, King said.

"The bulk of the white box tablets are Android low budget models aimed at a different market to the branded tablets," King said.

- Dylan McGrath
??EE Times

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