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Compal head expects shakeout of would-be iPad rivals in 2011

updated 06:35 pm EDT, Thu September 2, 2010

Compal expects most iPad rivals to quit in 2011

Compal president Ray Chen told those at an investors' meeting that he expects the fledgling tablet industry to undergo a major thinning effect for all but Apple's iPad in 2011. He saw the entire competition moving just 10 million to 12 million tablets next year where many expect Apple to reach those numbers in 2010 with only eight months of sales. The poor results will likely see some companies quit the market after just a year, DigiTimes heard, because they falsely assumed they would automatically succeed.

He also claimed to have witnessed first hand the detrimental impact on netbooks as customers picked tablets have picked the iPad and other tablets over the cheap but slow notebooks. Microsoft and Intel will have to either find ways to lower the cost or improve the performance to offer a meaningful alternative, Chen said. Intel has partly addressed this with the dual-core Atom N550, although analysts at Gartner also suspect many buyers are also moving back to full notebooks since the premiums on performance have shrunk.

Compal as a contractor has been co-developing tablets with Acer, Dell and Lenovo, and at CES in January had reference designs that could be modified by other companies to use. Chen claimed that he was also trying to win some of the manufacturing for the iPad. Most assembly has gone to manufacturing giant Foxconn and isn't as likely to reach others, but Apple has purportedly sought extra suppliers to handle the sheer demand.

Apple's success had caught many off-guard in the industry, as companies like ASUS had kept clinging to netbooks and, until the iPad, had often kept all tablet development to poor-selling, convertible Windows notebooks. In 2010, Windows tablet PCs are predicted to make up just 1.25 million PCs for the entire year; Apple took less than two months to beat the prediction for its own limited but portable and sometimes cheaper devices. Most serious competitors are only just now launching their first comparable tablets and gave Apple a several-month head start.

By Electronista Staff


  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    More like a 3 year head start

    "Most serious competitors are only just now launching their first comparable tablets and gave Apple a several-month head start."

    I doubt Compal, Acer, or anyone else has any better chance than JooJoo of beating iPad. Apple worked on multi-touch for years before even the first iPhone was released. Don't bother waiting for Microsoft to do the same heavy lifting and creating a new multi-touch version of Windows. Ballmer is paranoid of hurting Windows + Office sales, because they are Microsoft's cash cows.

    That's why Microsoft has zero presence in smartphones and a roundoff-error-mini share of the portable media player market. Because drawing engineering effort away from Windows 8 is a terrifying concept for Ballmer. They're still falling all over themselves trying to catch up to Apple with their desktop OS. No way they're going to succeed in mobile.

    HP/Palm may have a chance with WebOS, but it just might be too late already. Which is perfectly in keeping with Palm's efforts over the last 10 years.

  1. CmdrGampu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009


    Ease up, SockRolid

    What is this almost instinctive reaction to knock every company other than Apple on the MacNN-affiliated sites? Compal is not a competitor for Apple any more than Foxconn or Pegatron is and they don't want to "beat" the iPad. They're a manufacturing company. They don't sell tablets. Read the article. They actually wanted to do some iPad manufacturing. Chen states a good opinion of the iPad but you don't seem to see that with this kneejerk "another jealous company attacking the iPad" reaction.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    That's the problem with those nerdy Windows

    netvertible lovers. They think that average consumers are going to love some frankenkludge design where the display flip-flops all about. Oh look, I have a netbook. Oh look, now I have a tablet. Isn't that so cool? It's pretty stupid when you come to think about it. In theory, I think it's a great idea for someone that requires a computer to do that, but most of the average consumers would definitely find it impractical.

    A tablet is one clean piece of simplicity with no moving parts. I'm sort of wondering when one of the tablet vendors are going to design one with a slide-out keyboard. That should turn some nerd heads around.

    Microsoft is going to have a terrible time with selling Windows 7 tablets. They're just so Windows desktop-centric that they'll be unable to think about anything else. Windows desktop OS must run on everything because they make most of their money from Windows licenses.

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