An iPad. (Photo/CFP)
The global tablet computer market will continue to witness a price war this year as more brand companies jump onto the affordable tablet bandwagon, according to a local research company.
Worldwide tablet shipments in 2013 are forecast to grow by 63.9% from one year ago to 254 million devices, including 73 million Apple iPads, 82.4 million non-iPad models from brand companies and 98.6 million "white-box" tablets — those without a registered brand name, Digitimes Research wrote in a report on May 16.
Brand companies are likely to price their tablets more competitively by cutting prices to as low as US$99 to US$149 this year from a level of US$199 last year in a move to lure more entry-level consumers, while prices of white-box tablets may be lowered to US$40, the report said.
In addition to the popular Google-Asustek Nexus 7 tablet, the market has been driven by more low-cost Android models from other brand names, such as the Asustek MeMO Pad, Acer Iconia B1 and HP Slate 7, according to the report.
Moreover, white-box tablet vendors are expanding their presence by tapping into emerging markets and applications for the educational sector, which will become a new battlefield for white-box and brand tablets running the Android operating system, Digitimes Research reported.
According to NPD DisplaySearch, tablet PC shipments are forecast to increase 67 percent year-on-year to 256.5 million devices in 2013 and reach 579.4 million devices by 2017.
White-box tablet PCs accounted for one-third of global tablet PC shipments in 2012 and will maintain that share for the next several years, the market intelligence firm predicted.
Xu Lejiang is an alternate member of the 18th CPC Central Committee and serves as chairman of the Board of the Directors of the Baosteel Group Corporation. Xu graduated from the Jiangxi Institute ...