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China Quickly Ramping White-Box Tablet Production

By - Source: Digitimes | B 20 comments

China is ready to flood the tablet market with white-box products in 2012.

According to Digitimes, the production capacity is now at about 3 million units per month, with white-box companies expected to ship a total of more than 50 million units per month. In comparison, Apple shipped just under 40.5 million iPads in 2011, while total tablet shipments were about 66.9 million, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apparently the manufacturing frenzy was set off by the availability for Android 4 as "hundreds of small- and medium-size businesses have entered the development and production of tablet PCs on an OEM, ODM or OBM basis" in China's Guangdong province alone, Digitimes said.

However, most tablets appear to be targeting emerging markets with 7-, 8-, 9.7- and 10.1-inch screen sizes with a very basic feature and low cost set. Prices for a 10.1-inch tablet with 1024 by 600 pixel screen resolution and 4 GB storage are estimated to cost somewhere between $100 and $110.

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  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , July 2, 2012 7:57 AM
    Now this is a race to the bottom, but I suppose this is better than not having a tablet at all.
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , July 2, 2012 9:16 AM
    Mmm no thanks.. I'll stick to reputable vendors.

    For the emerging ultra-cheap ultra-low sections of the market it'll be great but I've come to expect a certain standard for feature sets and build quality.

    That standard has a minimum acceptable level of $180 (Kogan Agora range is my starting point)

    It is just my opinion though, I mean everyone has a limit before things start getting too out of hand for the price.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , July 2, 2012 10:39 AM
    It's like the $30 DVD players at Walmart.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , July 2, 2012 10:50 AM
    can it play doom?
  • 6 Hide
    belardo , July 2, 2012 11:22 AM
    They sell SONY branded DVD players at Walmart for $30. Ah, remember when only PURE junk brands were $30? Guess they cant quite make them for $10?

    These are going to be pure-crap tablets, which will sell well in China and other 3rd world country where buying a $400 iPad or Android tablet is 1-6 months worth of pay. As some people may already notice, in the USA we already have some $100 tablets sold in Walgreen's / CVS / Biglots / Newegg running Android 1.6~2.x with crappy screens. Even Lenovo sells a $170 7" 2.3 Android device.

    At newegg, there are 145 Android tablets available with these versions of the OS (large amounts)
    2.2 = 14 models (Froyo)
    2.3 = 23 models
    3.x = 44 models (honeycomb) ($100~400)
    4.0 = 59 models (ICS) $100~600

    Blackberry = 2
    Windows7Pro tablets = 21 $600~3000 (most are in the $1200~1600 price range)
    Anything below $1200 is an ATOM powered tablet. Yet, MS blames them for not creating the tablet market??
  • -8 Hide
    noblerabbit , July 2, 2012 11:32 AM
    why doesn't the western world form an embargo to deny %99 of chinese made over produced walmart junk that doesn't serve any real purpose? we have too much of their stuff that is making people sick, and making the chinese millionaires grow in record numbers that are sweeping all jobs, real-estate from under your feet! keep buying crap you don't need from walmart, sheeple.
  • -2 Hide
    belardo , July 2, 2012 11:56 AM
    Im getting sick of it too. Its not just that the stuff is lower-cost, but the QUALITY is sub-standard. Everything... sunglasses that are now crap, yet costs the same. Bicycle wheels... now crap, yet costs the same. Talked to a guy at the shop, yep... they don't make wheels like they used to. The $50 wheels are not as well made as they used to be, so they break and bend easier. I have to buy a $150 wheel to have the quality of the $50 wheels from 5 years ago.

    Noblerabbit: The USA cannot quite do that so easily. We do need more tarifs, but also we need to demand more stuff from the USA. but you see... (A) we have less money to spend (B) manufacturing factories are no longer here in the USA... (C) we have people who hate unions, so they want us to have the same cheap labor as in China? We cannot compete against that. We'd have to reduce our wages to $2 an hour or make China raise their min. wage. (thats not going to happen).
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , July 2, 2012 11:57 AM
    A reason why Android tablets are really going to be going up a notch is because of what MS just did to ALL of their OEM partners with their MS-branded tablet.

    I think HP is going to have an Android tablet soon too.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 2, 2012 1:02 PM
    You get what you pay for, if you buy cheap, you get cheap and it shows.
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , July 2, 2012 1:03 PM
    noblerabbitwhy doesn't the western world form an embargo to deny %99 of chinese made over produced walmart junk that doesn't serve any real purpose?


    The purpose of a product is to be sold, and there are no bad products, only bad prices.
  • 0 Hide
    marcolorenzo , July 2, 2012 2:01 PM
    belardoIm getting sick of it too. Its not just that the stuff is lower-cost, but the QUALITY is sub-standard. Everything... sunglasses that are now crap, yet costs the same. Bicycle wheels... now crap, yet costs the same. Talked to a guy at the shop, yep... they don't make wheels like they used to. The $50 wheels are not as well made as they used to be, so they break and bend easier. I have to buy a $150 wheel to have the quality of the $50 wheels from 5 years ago.Noblerabbit: The USA cannot quite do that so easily. We do need more tarifs, but also we need to demand more stuff from the USA. but you see... (A) we have less money to spend (B) manufacturing factories are no longer here in the USA... (C) we have people who hate unions, so they want us to have the same cheap labor as in China? We cannot compete against that. We'd have to reduce our wages to $2 an hour or make China raise their min. wage. (thats not going to happen).


    You know, due to inflation and various other economic factors, $50 now is worth a lot less than $50 from many years ago. You and the guy above you should go back to school...
  • 0 Hide
    marcolorenzo , July 2, 2012 2:03 PM
    And I doubt something you bought for $50 5 years ago costs so much more now. You know, they've been sending stuff to get produced in China since a long time ago, it didn't just happen in the last decade...
  • 0 Hide
    chomlee , July 2, 2012 5:44 PM
    belardo (C) we have people who hate unions, so they want us to have the same cheap labor as in China? We cannot compete against that. We'd have to reduce our wages to $2 an hour or make China raise their min. wage. (thats not going to happen).


    Ok, sorry but I just had to chime in here. You pretty much went from one extreme to another. Most people realize that unions where needed 80 years ago to protect people from horrible work conditions (like what happens now in china). Those things are not really even possible here in the US now because of several things (Minimum Wage, OSHA, Lawyers and probably lots of other rules/regulations). I can honestly say that I haven't seen anything positive nowadays that the Unions have to offer hard working people. The ones who benefit the most from Unions are people who have worked the longest and have limited skill sets, and the lazy ones who don't want to work but cant be fired because they have seniority. We have problems here in Florida where firemen are getting paid over 100K/year with 5 years experience and working in areas where they get a call maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

    Anyhow, I digress, but my main point is that we could build things here in the US without Unions and without the worry of forcing Chinese labor working conditions. Of course the price wont be as cheap but it may be cheap enough.
  • 0 Hide
    hingsun , July 2, 2012 6:49 PM
    With the labor cost of average 9 to 11.50 yuan (US 1.5 to 1.91) per hour of labor rate. It is very hard to compete as a manufacturing country. India and Vietnam is even lower than that with average (US 0.65 to 0.92) per hour of labor rate. US always blame other countries for stealing their jobs or not offering job to US in return, but how much can these low pay workers hire a US worker when they are only earning at most 24% of our minimum wage.
  • -1 Hide
    belardo , July 2, 2012 8:13 PM
    marcolorenzoYou know, due to inflation and various other economic factors, $50 now is worth a lot less than $50 from many years ago. You and the guy above you should go back to school...

    er... I'm not talking about inflation. I'm talking about a wheel for a bicycle. Some things don't change in price much. clothes, food, CDs, books, toys, etc. In the past few years, a good bike wheel didn't blow up 3x in price. The quality of the spokes went down because the makers of the wheels go with cheaper metal (more profit) and sell it for the same price. Because the product is of lower quality ITS A major problem. Lower life-span also means shorter time for replacement which means it ends up in the landfill faster. Also costing people MORE money.


    Its like in China when some contractor used GARBAGE as filler for a bridge. Yep, it looks like uber modern western style highway bridge. After a few months after its completion, parts of its surface started falling off... and yep, garbage. diapers, trash bags, newspapers, food...

    China, the country where they make buildings that roll over... even upside down. Why? No regulations and low-cost labor. but it was cheap.

    @chomlee : considering that most working Americans have NOT gotten a pay raise in the past 6~8 years and yet company profits are SOARING and the costs of living has gone up and that we have to work longer hours to pay for stuff... Yes, we need unions. they help keep the middle class... in check. We are all becoming lower-class.

    Compared to the 70s, you could make a bit more of a living with less money.
  • 0 Hide
    hetneo , July 2, 2012 8:20 PM
    belardoIm getting sick of it too. Its not just that the stuff is lower-cost, but the QUALITY is sub-standard. Everything... sunglasses that are now crap, yet costs the same. Bicycle wheels... now crap, yet costs the same. Talked to a guy at the shop, yep... they don't make wheels like they used to. The $50 wheels are not as well made as they used to be, so they break and bend easier. I have to buy a $150 wheel to have the quality of the $50 wheels from 5 years ago.

    Ummmmmmm dude I got for my woman a necklace for $100 bucks some 6 years ago, it's worth now somewhere around $300. No its value didn't grow, but value of dollar have plummeted.
  • 0 Hide
    chomlee , July 2, 2012 8:32 PM
    Belardo, no we dont need unions. People haven't gotten a raise in the past 3-5 years because our economy is in the toilet. My wife works for the county and no one has gotten a raise in 5 years. The reason is because of all the cutbacks. Luckily they have not had to lay anyone off. Unions came and demanded that they have a layoff. Unfortunately the people that would go are the ones who are working hard but are relatively new. Meanwhile the old guys that don't want to retire and sit back and don't do anything because they can't be fired because they have seniority would stay in a layoff.


    As far as proffits soaring, you are probably referring to companies that are outsourcing all the work to china in the first place. Competition keeps wages in check. Sure there are some unfair situations here and there but there are alot more rediculous situations when it comes to Unions. I was told recently that the automakers couldn't discontinue making a car that wasn't selling because the Union said it would take away too many jobs.
  • 0 Hide
    marcolorenzo , July 2, 2012 11:27 PM
    Belardo, let me reiterate again: China didn't JUST RECENTLY start producing all these cheap merchandises that's getting your panties into a bunch, they've been doing this for decades. So I don't see why all of a sudden now you are finding products to be of the same price even though the quality has dropped. Sounds to me more like some hill billy is trying to find the fault in foreigners for no good reason.

    But enough name calling, I'm actually interested to know what are these bridges you're talking about? And these buildings that apparently roll "upside down" like some circus act? The only recent cases I know of Chinese buildings collapsing was in some very poor areas in the North West of China a couple of years ago due to...a freaking earthquake! I'm sorry but if that's what you're talking about then I think it's a bit harsh to judge them based on that. But if not then please share with us a link or something backing up your claims.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 3, 2012 2:32 PM
    Good thing most of these will remain domestic. Though I'm sure some of the more outstanding ones deserve to be brought over to the western market.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , July 3, 2012 6:48 PM
    This may be helpful in the long run. As some of these manufacturers continue to ramp up production, they could get better and improve their quality and possible make decent (higher than current quality) cheaper tablets for the US market, and they could increase component supply which also reduces prices. On the othe hand they could eat up so much of the supply chain that prices go up.