It may seem strange but in 2012 Chinese chip vendor Allwinner probably sold more processors for tablet computers than Intel and Qualcomm together.
But we can try and guess who might be on Strategy Analytics' list. It
probably includes: Allwinner Technology, Rockchip, Amlogic, Infotmic,
Ingenic, Hi-Silicon, NuFront. It may include Via Technologies Inc. – a
long time vendor of x86 chips and more recently of ARM processors –
although Via is based in Taipei, Taiwan, and so may or may not have been
included in the Chinese category.
Hi-Silicon, which is
effectively part of Huawei, may have won business with its parent,
although it is equally possible that such captive sales could have been
missed. Ingenic is MIPS licensee with a reputation for being one company
that has figured out to make most Android apps run smoothly on MIPS.
Nufront is one of our less likely contenders.
In fact we
reckon that the first three names on our list – Allwinner, Rockchip and
Amlogic – are probably responsible for more than half the Chinese supply
of tablet processors in 2012. Allwinner clearly has the lion's share,
according to supply chain checks made by my colleague Junko Yoshida;
maybe nearly half the supply of Chinese tablet processors on its own.
This would make it responsible for nearly 10 percent of the global
supply by volume. The rest of the Chinese suppliers are part of a long
list of much smaller suppliers. Interestingly in the previous year
Rockchip was in a similar Chinese market-leading situation. The market
changes and swings happen very fast in China.
interesting is that Allwinner is therefore likely to have outsold Intel
and Qualcomm put together. Strategy Analytics reckons Intel and Qualcomm
missed the tablet processor boat in 2012 and captured less than 5
percent volume share in the tablet applications processor market. Stuart
Robinson, director of the Strategy Analytics' handset component
service, said that any success for these two in tablets will depend on
Microsoft and whether its Windows tablet operating system can gain
Things can change rapidly in a fast-growing
market but we suggest keeping an eye on Allwinner and its smaller
competitors, Intel and Qualcomm.
Related links and articles:
Intel and Qualcomm co-author free MEMS standard
Intel rapidly gaining market share in tablets
Tablet sales grew 142 percent in Q1