17 December 2012

Cheap tablet components analysis

Ever wonder what is compromised when a cheap Android Tablet is manufactured ? I found this article from Mobot that may shed some light into the subject. The article deals with building sub £99 tablet.

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. 
Source: Mobot

As expected, of course, the touch screen takes the biggest share. Memory and CPU are next. So, now you know what you are sacrificing when you bought a cheap tablet.

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