Whitebox Makers Second Highest in Global Tablet PC Market Behind Apple

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Whitebox Tablet PC Shipment Growth Over 230% Q/Q in Q1’11 as China Market Heats Up

Price is a significant influence on any consumer product, and tablets currently carry a healthy premium on the cost of the hardware components. The emergence of the whitebox tablet market is an indication that the market is reacting to that premium...

Whitebox (local or non-branded) vendors are the fastest growing segment of the worldwide tablet PC market, according to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report. Whitebox tablet PC players increased shipments from 567K units in Q4’10 to 1.9M units in Q1’11, representing a 235% Q/Q growth rate. China represented the largest market for whitebox tablet PCs, accounting for 44% of worldwide shipments. Overall shipments of the tablet PC category were down 5.2% Q/Q, from 10.2M units to 9.7M units, but up nearly thirteen-fold Y/Y, from 668K to 9.7M units.

Apple remains the leader in the tablet PC market with a 54% share, and is the leader in many aspects of the segment in terms of usage experience, hardware design and price. The growing size of the whitebox tablet PC market, with nearly a 20% share in Q1’11, is a sign of increasing demand by the mainstream market for tablets.

“Price is a significant influence on any consumer product, and tablets currently carry a healthy premium on the cost of the hardware components,” said Richard Shim, Senior Analyst for DisplaySearch. “The emergence of the whitebox tablet market is an indication that the market is reacting to that premium and trying to give consumers a lower price to drive adoption. In the short term, the tradeoff will likely result in a less than ideal user experience.”

The whitebox tablet PC space is made up of screen sizes primarily in the 7” and 10.1” wide categories, but also includes screens mirroring the Apple/HP form factor of a 9.7” 4:3 format. The 9.7” screen size introduced by Apple (and then adopted by HP) is unique not only in its size and aspect ratio (the rest of the mainstream LCD market from notebooks to TVs is dominated by wide formats), but also in the high-end IPS/FFS technology used in its display.

The whitebox tablet market in emerging regions is price sensitive and is partially able to exist because whitebox tablet makers use panels that are left unused by major brands with slightly lower quality levels, like lower brightness. Using panels from what is essentially a secondary market allows device makers to offer aggressive pricing as compared to iPads. Despite some quality issues of these whitebox tablets, they remain appealing to value conscious buyers, such as students, who are shopping based on price.

Cross checks with tablet supply chain participants, such as chipset providers, indicates potential growth opportunities for the whitebox tablet market in the future. While China is the biggest market for whitebox tablet PCs, other emerging regions are also adopting these tablets, including Asia Pacific, Latin America, and parts of EMEA.

The other segments of the mobile PC market, mini-note and notebook PC, experienced Q/Q and Y/Y growth rates similar to tablet PCs. The mini-note segment grew 17.3% Q/Q in China as a result of holiday demand, but Y/Y results declined 10.2%. The opposite occurred in the notebook segment, where shipments Q/Q declined 5.9% while shipments Y/Y slightly rose 1.6%.

The DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report covers the entire range of mobile PC products shipped worldwide and regionally. With analysis of global and regional brands, the Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report provides an objective, expert view of the market with insight into historical shipments, revenues, forecasts and more. For more information about the report, please contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, e-mail contact(at)displaysearch.com or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan or more information.

About DisplaySearch
Since 1996, DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. DisplaySearch provides trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge. In collaboration with The NPD Group, its parent company, DisplaySearch uniquely offers a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information on DisplaySearch analysts, reports and industry events, visit us at http://www.displaysearch.com. Read our blog at http://www.displaysearchblog.com and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com and http://www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter at @npdtech and @npdgroup.

Media Contact:
Stacey Voorhees-Harmon
SAVVY Public Relations
Phone: 925-336-9592
E-mail: stacey(at)savvypublicrelations(dot)net

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