How to produce the £99 Android tablet

How to produce the £99 Android tabletThis year finally saw Android hit on a formula for success in tablets, and it centred around delivering broad mass-market capabilities at well under £200.

But with Google and Amazon already cutting margins to the minimum, or even subsidising their entry-level slates, how do you go even cheaper? The answer, it seems, is less glass, and cheaper commodity components.

Taiwan-based analyst firm TrendForce reasons that with companies the size of Google and Amazon already underwriting today's low-cost Android tablets to some extent, the only other way to reduce costs to the consumer is to opt for cheaper components.

And the easiest place to start, considering it accounts for 35-40% of the total material costs of a small tablet, is the panel-touch module combination.

Changing from FFS to TN panels is an established tactic for delivering cheaper displays, while Trendforce also reckons going from a glass-based solution to a glass/film/film module could contribute to a total $25 saving in overall costs from the display-touch panel combo.

The rest of the saving, we're told, can be centred around three components: memory, flash storage and the CPU.

Switching from 1GB mobile DRAM ($10) to 1GB commodity DRAM ($3.50) is the start, while 4GB eMMC NAND flash ($4) shaves a third off the price of an 8GB module. Lastly, lesser-known Chinese semiconductor makers will sell you a 40nm-55nm chip for around $12 apiece, which is potentially half what a more frugal CPU from a better-known source.

All that adds up to around $50 in savings, taking you from the $199 of the base Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire to the magical sub-$150 mark, which strictly speaking converts to as little as £92.

You're not left with much, to be fair, but c'mon, look at the price. The fact we're even talking of a sub-£100 tablet is impressive enough, but finding a formula for making one without having to subsidise half the asking price is even better.

Roll on 2013.

Via DigiTimes

Read more about: Android

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5 comments

Pondlife  Dec. 15, 2012 at 16:09

But there are already sub £70 tablets, all pretty much rubbish but then so would that one be.

barrybarryk  Dec. 15, 2012 at 17:40

They've been out for ages, I've a year old 7" Allwinner A10 tablet with a 1GB RAM and 8GB storage that was £70, the Mrs has no problems with it, not everyone needs to run 40 apps all at once

rash  Dec. 15, 2012 at 19:53

WTF is wrong with the android os? I remember the old N95 could multitask like there was no tomorrow, the route 66 maps were the smoothest and best I have seen on a mobile device.

And that was yonks ago. You easily get a sub £100 tablet if you use non-dalvik based OS like BB10, Meego, iOS etc.

Then ofcourse there is the issue of apps. Even so this dalvik is the reason for laginess in android.

Pondlife  Dec. 15, 2012 at 20:10

Strikes me as odd seeing as the Nokia 5800 with a fast processor, more ram and newer version of the software than that on the N95 was comfortably jerkier and slower than the budget osf running gb. Mind you the N95 did only have a small low resolution screen to throw pixels around.

And be a long wait for a sub £100 tablet running ios, though mentioning bb does remind that the playbook has gone sub £100 too.

barrybarryk  Dec. 15, 2012 at 20:19

um yeah I've nfi what he's on about, pretty much every android device I've ever got my hands on has been better at multitasking than an N95, which is hardly surprising considering how old the N95 hardware and software is.

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