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NVIDIA Launches 2nd Mobile Entertainment Platform

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rick merritt
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Views on Nvidia
rick merritt   9/18/2013 10:13:44 PM
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Jim,


I'd love to hear your views on Nvidia as a systems vendor. Like Msoft Surface they are competing with their customers. What's the thinking and does it make sense?

BTW, I forgot to mention in a report from IDF that Intel said one OEM will ship a sub $100 Atom-based tablet before the end of the year.

help.fulguy
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Re: Views on Nvidia
help.fulguy   9/19/2013 11:09:24 AM
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Wow, Jim. You Sold Out. How much do you charge to write an Ad like this? Let me know.

JimMcGregor
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Re: Views on Nvidia
JimMcGregor   9/19/2013 1:29:05 PM
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help.fulguy - please see the rest of my response. And include your name it you would like a direct response.

help.fulguy
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Re: Views on Nvidia
help.fulguy   9/20/2013 8:15:34 AM
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@ Jim, I dont know which response you refer to. In any case, you have a research company and I expect a research report from you or atleast that quality. This article looks like either written by Nvidia PR or you slacked on your work. Which one is it? Where is the research here? 

rick merritt
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Re: Views on Nvidia
rick merritt   9/19/2013 11:26:51 AM
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So, I'll just speculate here that Nvidia isn't getting the killer tablet designs it wants and is really unhappy with the kinds of designs its tablet OEMs are making. Why else would it want to take a hit on the margins of its chips to make lower margin systems?

I note Qualcomm's Snapdragon was used in the Nexus 7 made by Asus and sold by Google.

JimMcGregor
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Re: Views on Nvidia
JimMcGregor   9/19/2013 1:25:59 PM
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I'm not sure why my previous post is not in chain, but let me repeat some of it.

First, Intel did announce $99 tablets, but they will not have the Bay Trail processor. They will likely feature the older Clover Trail SoC. The tablets with the Bay Trail SoC will begin at the same $199 price point. While the Intel solutions are impressive, I thought the Android version, which will not be in the initial wave of Bay Trail tablets, was the most impressive. However, the OEMs introducing Bay Trail seem focused on differentiating around Win8.1, which still falls short of the Android tablets.

Second, there is the issue of competing against customers, but this exists throughout the entire electronics value chain today because of the vertical integration model that Apple has pioneered so successfully. As a result, competing against ones customers is almost inevitable in today's electronics market. But, it is imperative that all companies continue to explore all business models. Only time will tell which companies and business models will survive. For the Tegra Note, NVIDIA is partnering with smaller local partners including EVGA and PNY Technologies in North America; EVGA, Oyster, and ZOTAC in Europe; Colorful, Shenzhen Homecare Technology and ZOTAC in Asia; and XOLO in India.

In regard to the broader segment, I think that the $199 tablet area is going to be highly competitive this holiday season. If price is relatively the same, the brand and the user experience are likely to be the key factors driving the purchasing decision of consumers. And in regard to the user experience, especially for younger consumers, it is all about what you can do that you couldn't do before. In this respect, UIs and applications like computational photography are likely to be important features.

However, I look forward to all the new product coming out this holiday season because rather than being the same device in a similar package, we are seeing the value chain from the technology vendors through the OEMs focus on differentiation through features and applications. Just as in PCs, raw performance will only get you to the table; it typically won't make the purchasing decision.

rick merritt
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Re: Views on Nvidia
rick merritt   9/19/2013 3:52:14 PM
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Thanks for the follow up Jim.

I'm still not convinced there's all that much real differentiation or margin loft in tablets. It feels like what Loring Wirbel used to call "instant commodities"

Go ahead make them. But if you are not among the top couple volume shippers, you will lose your shirt.

I'd love to hear where real differentiation and profits can be found. And how Win 8.1 comapres to Jelly Bean tabs...but maybe that's a separate blog ;-)

 

JimMcGregor
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Re: Views on Nvidia
JimMcGregor   9/19/2013 4:07:11 PM
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I'll get right on it Rick. I think it is about differentiation, especially when all other things are equal. Why has the Samsung Galaxy S4 outsold the HTC One? Brand is important, but differentiation is critical not only to sway the consumer purchasing decision to ones products, but also to convince consumers that they should upgrade to a new device. I guess I have a few more blogs to write over the weekend.

rick merritt
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Re: Views on Nvidia
rick merritt   9/19/2013 4:18:45 PM
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I'm thinking when you compare Samsung and HTC its just a matter of brute force of a much bigger Samsung supply chain thanks to size and vertical integration. Samsung gets lower BoM based on more internally supplied components. Same box to the consumer more or less.

JimMcGregor
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Re: Views on Nvidia
JimMcGregor   9/19/2013 4:53:34 PM
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Not in the minds of consumers. Consumer pick and choose what features and functions are most important. In many cases, the difference between the two devices was a generational gap as to what features were more important. It's only us geeks that really compare the devices at a tech level.

tektonikshift
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Re: Views on Nvidia
tektonikshift   9/19/2013 7:49:18 PM
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Rick Merritt, 

I think you are right, this is (a) a showcase of what Nvidia silicon can do plus (b) optionality on the dynamic tablet market. 

Google Nexus brand serves the same purpose for Google's Android platform.

Lets see who the partners turn out to be.  There are some Taiwan PC brands and Japan PC/consumer brands who are cut out of the Tablet and Smartphone action.   They may be willing and able partners. 

-Tek

junko.yoshida
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'Select' partners?
junko.yoshida   9/19/2013 7:00:18 AM
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@Jim, judging from the spec you rattled off here, it looks like Nvidia's new platform could enable a pretty powerful tablet at a lower cost. That's the good news. 

However, as you wrote:

NVIDIA announces a new Android tablet starting at $199 through selected partners


I wonder who those parters will be. I mean, apps processors for Android-based tablets compete in a really crowded market with margins dwindling. 

p_g
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Re: 'Select' partners?
p_g   9/19/2013 7:15:30 PM
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I agree margins on hardware is very low right now. But the main market seems to be apps market which bring constant revenue down the lane. This is exactly what Amazon started with its low cost tablet. There was very little margin.

rick merritt
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Re: 'Select' partners?
rick merritt   9/20/2013 2:04:27 AM
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@p-g: I agree. I think the real business model here is Amazon using the Kindle as a loss leader to sell books/media/etc. Google using Nexus as a loss leader to get more eyeballs on its services and do analytics on buying pattens in Google Play etc.

Apple bucks the model I think making a little change on iTunes to make its margins on its high end tabs and phones.

Samsung is in the middle ekeing out some profits on mass volumes.

I don't see a viable Nvidia biz here unless it is a loss leader getting people to adopt its chips. Unfortunately I dont see much of a biz long term for HTC, Asus etc either except as ODMs.

How the heck is Tegra 4 doing anyway? Who's designed it in?

JimMcGregor
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Re: 'Select' partners?
JimMcGregor   9/20/2013 11:56:00 AM
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I agree that other technology providers, sush as Amazon, could add additional value to this or any other platform in the same way they could add value to Microsoft's Surface or Qualcomm's Toq smart watch. I would suspect that you are likely to see platforms either rebranded or at least very similar to all these platforms in the future if the major OEMs see value in the design and/or technologies incorporated into the platforms. The purpose of many of these platforms from the hardware and software technology providers is to showcase the technology. Unfortunately, many of the leading OEMs design for the broadest possible audience, which leads to little differentiation and hesitancy to adopt new technologies.

Caleb Kraft
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how did the others do?
Caleb Kraft   9/20/2013 8:45:01 AM
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This isn't Nvidia's first step into mobile gaming. I'm really curious to hear how the other devices are being received. I realize they are at a higher price point but I don't even really know if they are available on the market. This seems to have much more potential based on price but I have a hard time seeing hardcore gamers even bothering.

chanj0
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Yet Another Tablet
chanj0   9/20/2013 1:44:27 PM
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There are so many different models of tablet coming out every year from so many different brands. I am happy to see the variety as well as competition. Screen resolution and price are so far the key selling factors. There are minor features here and there. Yet, nothing stands out. I wonder what drives consumers to choose one from the other. What can be the killer feature that consumer can't live w/o?

JimMcGregor
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Re: Yet Another Tablet
JimMcGregor   9/20/2013 1:56:20 PM
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That's the billion dollar question. Is it 3 day battery life, computational photography, high-end gaming, wireless charging, or any of the other unique technologies or applications in development? Maybe it's how it interacts with your other electronic devices or the content it allows access to. In reality, it is likely different for every consumer, which makes differentiation such a difficult challenge.

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