The global tablet computer market will continue to witness a price war this year as more brand companies jump onto the affordable tablet bandwagon, a local research company said.
Worldwide tablet shipments this year are forecast to grow by 63.9 percent from one year ago to 254 million units and would include 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 Thursday last week.
Brand companies are likely to price their tablets more competitively by cutting prices to as low as US$99 this year from US$199 last year to lure more entry-level consumers, while the price of white-box tablets could be lowered to US$40, the report said.
In addition to the popular Google Nexus 7 tablet, the market has been driven by more low-cost Android models from other brand names, such as the Asustek Computer Inc’s (華碩電腦) MeMO Pad and HP’s Slate 7, the report said.
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 units this year and reach 579.4 million units by 2017.
White-box tablet PCs accounted for one-third of global tablet PC shipments last year, the firm said.