SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apple dominated the market for applications processors in tablets last year with Texas Instruments and Nvidia in a near tie for second place, according to a new market research report from Strategy Analytics. The report was released the same day Apple is rolling out its next generation iPad in San Francisco, a device expected to sport an upgraded CPU, display and cellular modem.
The still-young market for apps processors in tablets expanded by a whopping 230 percent in 2011 with Apple commanding 59 percent of the sockets with its A-series chip in the iPad, the report said. But the non-Apple part of the tablet market is growing even faster than Apple’s share, it added.
TI’s Omap chips captured 35 percent of the non-iPad tablet market buoyed by design wins in the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook. Nvidia’s Tegra came in a close second at 34 percent claiming sockets in tablets from Acer, Asus, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and others.
Qualcomm and Intel, giants in smartphones and PCs respectively, “missed the boat” in tablets in 2011, said Sravan Kundojjala, a senior analyst for handset component technologies at Strategy Analytics in a press statement.
Likewise apps processor vendors Broadcom, ST-Ericsson, MediaTek, Marvell and Renesas “need to improve their tablet market focus in 2012 as these companies haven’t scored significant tablet design-wins so far,” he said.
“We believe that Qualcomm is well-positioned to capture meaningful share in LTE tablets and Windows 8 tablets in 2012,” Kundojjala said. In addition, “Nvidia is well positioned to capture further share in tablets with its quad-core Tegra 3 processor in 2012,” he added.
A whopping 98 percent of the mobile apps processors used in 2011 were ARM-based chips, the report estimates. However, Strategy Analytics said it expects x86-based chips from Intel and AMD to eke out a slice of the market in 2012 for tablets based on Android 4.0 and Windows 8.
“With Apple expected to announce its iPad 3 product today, the tablet market is poised for accelerated growth in the coming quarters,” Kundojjala said. “We expect strong efforts from Amazon, Google and Microsoft will serve as key catalysts for the non-Apple tablet vendors in 2012,” he added.
Let me preface my comment by stating that I don't own a single Apple product. That said, Apple is a phenomenal marketing and product development machine. As a consumer electronics player, Apple has transcended the chasm from a "gadgets" company to a consumer "fashion" statement. On the first weekend upon its release, the iPad 3 sold 3 million at an average selling price of more than one share of Apple stock! If Apple releases the iPhone 5 this summer, anyone here doubt the numbers won't be as impressive as the iPad 3? One can debate the technical performance of Apple products, but the loyalty and religious fervor consumers worldwide have worldwide can't be understated.
The attention Apple draws from their "product introduction events" is amazing to me. Other tablet manufacturers issue press releases that are picked up by some specialized industry and consumer media outlets. Apple's (no live cameras allowed) events are live blogged and covered my almost every major (and specialized) media outlet around the world.
They clearly have the marketing momentum, and can make a simple upgrade in a camera sound revolutionary.
From a technology perspective, others can likely match and surpass Apple, but will anyone even notice???
It's hard to break Apple's stranglehold in tablets unless you have powerful software, which many don't have at the moment.
Microsoft is at least 2 yrs behind iPad and Windows 8 ecosystem is immature. Microsoft needs to do something quickly.
Its nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the timing of various chip releases. Amazo determined that Omap4 is better than Tegra2 (correctly in my opinion). Tegra3 wasn't ready. Nvidia planned poorly, or Ti planned well.
"Lucky, it was not" (as Yoda would say)
Nvidia has the potential to usurp Apple in tablet business if they can bring about tighter integration of their GPU and CPU with long battery life. The tablet market will probably overtake the laptop market in the next 3-4 years and then the 4 decade monopoly will have been overturned.
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