April 2010, when Apple announced original iPad, no one was expected that it is going to affect sales of PCs in upcoming days. iPad has already eaten up the Netbook sales. Apple sold 300,000 iPads on very first day and 3 millions iPads in just 80 days. iPad 2 was even more successful than original iPad.
iPad is a great product and people all over the world love it. People from Asian countries are also kin to own an iPad. But due to its high price, they are not able to buy it. People demanded a similar but Low Cost product. Thus a new segment of Low Cost tablets emerged in Chinese Market.
These Low Cost tablets features Google’s open source Android OS.So the expense of Operating system reduces. Further,Chinese semiconductor companies like Allwinner, MIPS, MediaTek, BoxChip etc. developed ultra low cost SOCs, houses most of the hardware required to build a tablet on single chip. All these SOCs are available in sub 10$ range when ordered in bulk. Due to enormous development in semiconductor and TFT LCD display technology and competition in market, some Chinese companies came with multitouch capacitive touchscreen. These tablet manufactures used Low Cost and low quality batteries and building materials to reduce the cost. As assembling cost of electronic equipments in China is Low Cost than any other country in world so they start building in house Low Cost tablets.
It was the year 2011 when Chinese companies come up with Low Cost android tablets featuring android 2.3 which was not at all meant for a big screen. At the end of 2011 Google released Ice Cream Sandwitch the android version suitable mobiles as well as tablets. A Chinese company named Ainol come up with world’s first ICS tablet. When all big manufacturer was deciding there update plans for their devices Ainol released a MIPS architecture based 100$ tablet named NOVO7 with 1GHz processor, 7 inch 800×480 capacitive multitouch tablet with ICS.
After Ainol’s NOVO7 several other Chinese manufacturers come up with their ICS tablets featuring Allwinner A10 SOC.
Allwinner A10 SOC specifications :
- 1.2 GHz Single Core ARM Cortex A8 Processor
- Video Processing Unit for 2160p video decoding
- ARM Mali 400 GPU
- In built NAND controller
- USB 2.0 host and OTG
- HDMI Out
- Built In touchscreen Controller
Allwinner-A10 Development board
At present time more than 60% of Low Cost tablet houses Allwinner A10 SOC.
If you take a look at specifications of all these tablets,you will notice that all thes tablets have almost same features and specification.In some cases even the outer case is same and only difference is the device model name and brand name.
The answer is most of these tablets are mere reference designs which are developed by its SOCs manufacturers.Whats happening is that all these small companies taking the reference devices and sending it to market without any modification.
The Indian brands like HCL, Micromax, Karbonn have done the same thing.They have ordered Chinese manufacturers to build these tablets with their labels.
Take a look at their Chinese counter parts….
Micromax Funbook and Ployer 7
Ployer 7 Android tablet
Karbonn Smart Tab and Ainol 7 ELF
Ainol NOVO7 Elf
Micromax has released Funbook in India. They have labeled it as made in India. This is only for marketing purpose. Actually all the components are brought in India from China and only assembling is done in India.