Published in PC Hardware

Cheap tablet SoCs selling like hot cakes

by on17 March 2014

Rockchip and Allwinner lead the way

The biggest tablet SoC maker is of course Apple, but the runner up isn't mighty Intel or Qualcomm - it's Shenzen-based Allwinner.

According to IDC, Qualcomm comes in third spot, while Rokchip is ranked fifth. Intel is the sixth biggest player. IDC points out much of the market is going for "good enough solutions" rather than pricey chips from tier one chipmakers. As sales of white-box tablets continue to surge, Allwiner and Rockchip are doing quite well and MediaTek is hoping to grab more share, too.

IDC claims Allwinner accounted for 18.2 million tablet parts shipped in Q4 2013, out of a total of 88.3 million parts. Rockchip was far behind with 9 million, which is still impressive. Allwinner told Bloomberg that Shenzen is the electronics hub of the world and that it can roll out products faster and at a lower cost than the competition. 

So why aren't the heavyweights going after this market segment? Tirias Research analyst Jim McGregor argues the likes of Intel and Qualcomm aren't very interested in high-volume low-margin markets. They are used to wider margins and it's just not in their nature to go after such markets.

Intel is planning to increase its tablet SoC shipments to 40 million units this year. MediaTek also believes it can double tablet SoC shipments this year.

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