SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 21 — Phablets have been big in Asia for some time — their sales already outstrip those of notebooks and tablets in the region. However it appears that sometimes phablets just aren’t big enough. Because now, consumers are reaching for tablets with voice-calling capabilities instead. And this interest is not a blip, according to research and analytics firm IDC, it’s a growing trend. Its latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, details from which were published yesterday, shows that demand for the devices has grown over 60 per cent year-on-year.
After four years of setting Android devices with the Nexus program, Google is rumored to work again with HTC for this year’s Nexus tablet project. Leaked specs and documents for the Volantis, better known as the Nexus 8, have emerged recently, offering the latest and more exciting details. Android Origin said that the National Radio Research Agency (RRA) from South Korea recently certified a new device which has the model number 0P82100. The device is supposedly the 8.9-inch Nexus tablet codenamed Volantis or Flounder. It confirmed that HTC will be making this year’s Nexus tablet after Google collaborated with Asus for the release of Nexus 7 and Nexus 7 (2013).
White-box vendors shipped 22.3 million tablets globally in the second quarter of 2014, increasing 9.3% sequentially, according to Digitimes Research. Of the shipments, Wi-Fi only models accounted for 56.4% and Wi-Fi plus voice communications models 43.6%, Digitimes Research indicated. In terms of screen size, 7-inch models accounted for 69.4% of the shipments and 7.85/7.9-inch ones 20.8%.
Xiaomi unveiled its first ever tablet in May in the form of the MiPad. Available initially only in mainland China, it costs RMB 1,499 (US$243) for the 16GB model and RMB 1,699 (US$276) for the 64GB one. The MiPad went on sale in June. Although it’s only available to Chinese shoppers, I wanted to review this from more of an international perspective, so I requested a review unit and loaded it up with all the apps that I use on my old Nexus 7. After living with the MiPad for a week, these are my thoughts.
SEOUL, July 30 — It’s essentially an 11.6-inch Android tablet, but one that seems to think it’s a Chromebook or a laptop. For a start, it has a slide-out keyboard and behind the IPS display is a very potent Intel Haswell Core i5 processor. This is the sort of chipset usually reserved for notebooks like the 13-inch MacBook Pro, meaning that, from a performance aspect seeing as it’s just running Android, it’s like using a sledgehammer to tap in a nail.
There were 55.06 million tablets shipped globally in the second quarter of 2014, decreasing 4.5% on quarter but increasing 17.9% on year, according to Digitimes Research. The shipments consisted of 14.1 million iPads, down 10% on quarter, and 18.96 million units launched by vendors other than Apple, down 12.7% on quarter. Additionaly, 22.3 million white-box units were shipped in the second quarter.
SAN FRANCISCO: US computer chip maker Nvidia launched a high-performance tablet Tuesday aimed at gamers who want the convenience of a mobile device. The Nvidia Shield, with an eight-inch high-definition display, “was built specifically for gamers,” according to the California company. The US$299 gadget has an optional US$40 cover that can be used as a kickstand. A wireless controller can be added for US$60.
Commenting on the company’s plans to join the tablet industry, CEO of China-based Xiaomi Lei Jun has said that the lack of a healthy ecosystem was the main problem holding Xiaomi back, and now Xiaomi is stepping up to try to establish an Android tablet ecosystem that is able to compete against Apple’s iPad.
Microsoft reportedly has called off a plan to mass produce its small-size Surface Mini tablet because of fierce compeition in the small-size tablet segment, as well as negative responses from its brand vendor clients, according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Microsoft has finished developing the Surface Mini and also completed the product tests; however, mass production did not start as scheduled in May, the sources said, adding Microsoft still paid the costs for the module development and production equipment, the sources said.
Thanks to the proliferation of low-cost phones and reduced data tariffs, smartphone sales more than trebled in India in the financial year 2013-14, growing by 244 percent. 52.4 million smartphones were sold in India in that time period, says MAIT, the body representing India’s IT hardware, training, and R&D services sectors, in its annual industry performance review. Surprisingly, India’s tablet boom slowed down dramatically. Unsurprisingly, desktop computer sales were down.
Perhaps inspired by arch-rival Amazon, India’s top ecommerce store today unveiled its own-brand tablet. The Flipkart Digiflip Pro XT712, despite the awful, convoluted name, is a simple and affordable gadget that seems designed to help people spend more money on Flipkart from their mobile device. The new Flipkart Digiflip – let’s stick with that abbreviated name for now – costs Rs 9,999 (US$160) and is now on sale exclusively from the Flipkart estore. It comes, the company says, with “shopping benefits” worth over Rs. 5,000 (US$83) and complementary ebooks worth over Rs. 2,000 (US$33).
With Android Silver rumors brewing, and LG’s Ken Hong indicating that the manufacturer doesn’t have a Nexus phone in the cards, the fate of the Nexus line as a whole has been sort of up in the air. We don’t have news about whether a Nexus phone exists, but we do have information related to HTC’s Volantis (or Flounder), an 8.9″ Nexus tablet. The information provided to us indicates possible specs, features, and pricing, as well as an early look at the form factor, though the images we have don’t appear to be final renderings of the device.
NEW DELHI,INDIA: According to CMR’s India Quarterly Tablet PC Market Review, 1Q (January-March) 2014, June 2014 release announced today, 746,463 Tablets were sold (shipped) in the quarter by as many as 30 domestic and international vendors. However, only eleven vendors shipped in significant volumes of more than 20,000 units during the period.
Tablet shipments in the Philippines grew 110 percent year-on-year, according to a recent report for Q1 2014 by research firm IDC. That’s the strongest growth rate for tablet uptake in Southeast Asia. In total, there were 598,375 tablets shipped in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2014. While Samsung and Apple still lead the race, IDC underscores that tough competition is now arising from local gadget makers as well as other global players. This is similar to the smartphone situation in the Philippines where cheaper homegrown phones are in big demand.
If you thought that tablets are stagnating and that innovation is missing, Samsung’s newest efforts might prove you wrong. We have just got our hands on some of the latest tablets from Samsung, due to launch in India within the next couple of months. These new tablets combine great hardware, the latest software and several new and useful features. All this in a unibody device that is just 6.6mm thick, lightweight and easy-to-carry. Plus, you can get it in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch sizes.
At Xiaomi’s Baomihua (“Popcorn”) fan meetup in Beijing today, founder and CEO Lei Jun took the stage to announce three upcoming products for the growing company. First, Xiaomi will introduce its second smart TV, the Mi TV 2. Sporting a display with 4K resolution), the device is 23 percent thicker than its previous incarnation and will retail for RMB3999 (about US$640) when it hits shelves on May 27.
Tablet shipments reached 58.56 million in the first quarter of 2014, down 30% on quarter and up 4.6% on year, which came as a result of Samsung Electronics and Lenovo pushing their product lines fully into the market while Apple saw weak shipments.
There will be 61.42 million tablets shipped globally in the second quarter of 2014, increasing 4.9% on quarter and 30.9% on year, according to Digitimes Research. The shipments will consist of 13.5 million iPads, 24.62 million non-Apple tablets and 23.3 million white-box units, Digitimes Research indicated. Apple will be the largest vendor accounting for 22% of second-quarter shipments, followed by Samsung Electronics with 20%, Asustek Computer 6.3%, Lenovo 6.1% and Acer 1.7%.
If you know anything about Vietnam, you know that Vietnamese people are highly brand conscious. Brands are associated with status and status is everything. Vietnam is so brand conscious that a business person will not trust that you are successful unless you drive a nice Mercedes Benz. So it’s no surprise that Apple, which has been deemed the world’s number one brand, is seeing its iPhones and iPads flying off the shelves in Vietnam.
Taiwan and worldwide notebook shipments dropped 13.8% and 14.2% sequentially, and 6.8% and 5.5% on year, respectively in the first quarter of 2014, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures. The sequential drops were mainly due to seasonality. Although the on-year declines were the slowest compared to those in the past five quarters, whether the notebook market has already started recovering remains to be seen.