Latest Android Tablet/Smartphone Trends out of Shenzhen and Hong Kong, at 3 tradeshows

Posted by – April 22, 2011

Following is my summary and my top-20 videos filmed during 10 days spent in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, at 3 tradeshows, filming, interviewing, uploading and posting 97 videos from the Shenzhen Electronics Fair (April 8-10th), China Sourcing Fair (April 12-15th) and HKTDC Electronics Fair (April 13-16th). With all those many videos posted, it can be hard for you to look through all of them to find out which are the best. That is why I now always summarise my best videos in a post in the Top Video Lists category. Many awesome new ARM Cortex-A9 tablets and cheap smartphones were shown.

New major ARM processor trends from the Shenzhen and Hong Kong tradeshows and markets:

Based on the overwhelming amount of new videos filmed related to those new processors, I added 3 new Chip provider categories to ARMdevices.net:

AmLogic, I filmed 9 new videos: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9] (in order of most to least interesting), it’s a new low-cost Single-Core Cortex-A9 processor, clocked at 800Mhz for now, it can be found in the first sub-$100 Cortex-A9 tablets (resistive). The performance of these are likely better than 1Ghz Cortex-A8, but I will test this on my Kinstone AmLogic tablet sample (that I bought for $130 (850 renminbi)) and report in my upcoming second part video-review soon.

Mediatek, I filmed 10 new videos: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10] (in order of most to least interesting), this low-cost ARM9 processor seems to win big in the Chinese made emerging Android smartphones market. It’s absolutely amazing how cheap some of the Mediatek MTK6516 based Smartphones are being sold at, I bought a $87 FG8 Mediatek MTK6516 based Android Smartphone (that looks similar to a HTC Desire with its casing design). With Mediatek’s upgraded ARM11 3G-enabled MTK6573 Smartphone processor coming up, they may again make big wins in the Chinese smartphone market and bring sub-$100 maybe soon sub-$50 Android smartphones to the worldwide (not only emerging) mass market. Amazing.

NEC/Renesas, I filmed 7 new videos: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7] (in order of most to least interesting), about 2 years ago, NEC Electronics and Renesas merged and out of that merger is coming this new NEC/Renesas EV2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core 533Mhz processor, the SoCs based on it are very low priced. Consider this to be the Japanese ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core entrant. Some of my reports claim that a nice capacitive tablet design based on this processor can be sold in bulk for as little as $110, $125 or $135. I bought a sample from Livall.cn for $171 which I will soon video-review further.

My top-20 best Shenzhen/HongKong April 2011 videos:

1. Archos 7c Home Tablet, RK2918 Capacitive, Archos are building amazing value tablets based on the Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz processor, with great capacitive touch screens, and they are bringing that to the definitely sub-$200 price range. As I am probably the biggest Archos fanboy in the world (I’m the admin and founder of http://forum.archosfans.com), I found it super fascinating to meet their expert staff and visit their Shenzhen headquarters.

2. Arnova 10 capacitive RK2918 to be released in May, at possibly $229 MSRP, for this 10.1″ capacitive Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz tablet, it’s hard to find better value 10″ tablet. Consider this kind of price is for a product that will be massively available at all retail stores in Europe and the USA, that price is the retail price, including all import taxes, fees, margins and everything. I believe Archos can make huge sales of their new Arnova line, especially now that they are able to bring ARM Cortex-A8 performance and nice capacitive screens to these entry-level priced devices.

3. Best of Shenzhen: $87 Android 3.5″ capacitive phone, MTK6516 FG8, that is my initial video review of my new FG8 $87 Android Smartphone. Mediatek MTK6516 based, with Android 2.2 Froyo and a 3.5″ HVGA Capacitive touch screen. This is amazing to see how cheap the Android smartphones are getting. Check back for my further video reviews coming up to show the performance and features of this cheap smartphone platform.

4. Shenzhen Behind the Scenes 1: Hongda Factory tour, a fascinating look inside of a small Shenzhen consumer electronics factory. That day they are manufacturing Intel Atom based netbooks, the day before they were making cheap Freescale i.MX51 based tablets for utopiacn.

5. Geniatech explains their AmLogic Cortex-A9 Single Core Set-top-box, an interview with the product manager on this sub-$100 AmLogic based set-top-box, watch this to get an idea how the potential upcoming Google TV on ARM based set-top-box makers are planning their global sub-$100 ARM Powered Set-top-box market entry.

6. $95 Cortex-A9 Tablet Review, Kinstone KS-UMD070A9, my initial review of this sub-$100 (bulk, resistive) ARM Cortex-A9 AmLogic 800Mhz Single Core tablet. I’ve got the review sample right here, so I will post a further full video review with benchmarks, video codec tests and other speed tests as soon as I get the time, check back for that.

7. Shenzhen Behind the Scenes 3: Richtechie.com, Freescale i.MX51/53 PCB designer, have a look behind the scenes at a PCB designer in Shenzhen. This PCB design house makes Freescale i.MX51 motherboards and they are working on their upcoming i.MX53 based PCB designs. They work with utopiacn.

8. Archos at the Shenzhen Electronics Fair, not much news in this video, it’s just interesting to see how Archos has a big booth at the Shenzhen Electronics Fair and uses it to do sales of their devices towards growing their sales in the Chinese mainland market.

9. Catwalk girls show Tablets and Smartphones in Shenzhen, just fun if you would like to see how the Tablets and Smartphones are the center of the trendy topic at the Shenzhen Electronics Fair.

10. NEC/Renesas EV2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core 533Mhz in videos with Livall.cn, Gaia, Ebot, Quality Industrial and TAL Electronics.

11. Rockchip Rk2918 in a Set-top-box, this could power a sub-$50 ARM Powered Google TV Set-top-box.

12. Honeycomb at the Rockchip booth (just keyrings for now..), once you get Honeycomb on the Rockchip RK2918 (could be happening by Google I/O on May 10-11th?), that could create the most explosive disruptive mix for the tablet industry. Also check-out my video of the Rockchip RK2918 based laptop which could also provide great value for an ARM Powered laptop running Chrome OS or Honeycomb.

13. Review: $120 Hero H2000 MTK6516 Android Froyo Powered iphone4-copy, my initial video review of my new $120 iphone4-clone that seems to run Android 2.2 super smoothly on this 3.5″ HVGA capacitive touch screen Mediatek MTK6516 based Hero H2000 smartphone. It’s probably manufactured by Karasnn.com.

14. Epudo Telechips Cortex-A8 tablets, the new Telechips 8803 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz processor may be reaching stability for Android Gingerbread support. Telechips 8803 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz Gingerbread also featured in videos with Digilink and huashiguang.

15. MID123.com Hummingbird Gingerbread Tablet, Gingerbread seems also to be reaching stability on the Samsung ARM Cortex-A8 Hummingbird processor platform.

16. Karasnn.com Hero Android MTK6516 Smartphones, interview with one of the potentially leading Mediatek MTK6516 based Android smartphone makers.

17. Meizu M9, $380 Android phone with Retina Display, interesting to see a 3.5″ Retina Display and the Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz processor in this new Meizu M9 phone. At $380 unlocked it’s expensive, but surely less expensive than an iPhone while having pretty similar hardware performance. Meizu has several stores in the Shenzhen electronics market area, they seem to be a relatively big smartphone brand in China.

18. Trend Technology (HK) Ltd does Android Tablets, discussion with an insider how to get those tablets made and distributed.

19. Performance test on AmLogic ARM Cortex-A9 Android Set-top-box, testing the performance doing web browsing and more on this AmLogic development board. It seems fast!

20. Ramos booth tour, featuring Ramos W18, 9.7″ capacitive ARM Cortex-A9 AmLogic Android Tablet, Ramos has nice new products. Also check my videos of the Ramos T8Pro and Ramos V70/T11Pro/T11AD.

While in Shenzhen, I filmed following 5-part series of videos showing a bit of the Behind the Scenes of Shenzhen, the capital of the world for consumer electronics manufacturing:
1: Hongda Factory tour
2: utopiacn, Apad Android Tablet maker
3: Richtechie.com, Freescale i.MX51/53 PCB designer
4: Walking around the Shenzhen smartphone market
5: 3Gnet Factory Tour

Flying back from Hong Kong to Copenhagen using the excellent and cheap airline Qatar Aiways, they can provide free stop-over in Doha (that can be booked using their Multi-city online booking feature), also check these 3 videos that I filmed, they are not very tech related, but they show the atmosphere in an interesting Middle-eastern Golf country:
1. Arrived in Qatar
2. Walking the Souq Waqif, the Corniche and checking out the Doha skyscrapers at night
3. Desert Safari with Arabian Adventure Qatar (includes a fun Video-review of the NEC/Renesas based dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 533Mhz capacitive 7″ tablet from livall.cn)

Shenzhen Behind the Scenes 4: Walking around the Shenzhen smartphone market

Posted by – April 22, 2011

There are about 5 huge malls on and around the Shenzhen Electronics street on Shenzhen Hua Qiang Bei, with up to 7 floors in each of these mall buildings that take an hour to walk through each floor if you want to look carefully and ask each booth about prices and what they have. Full of all kinds of electronics. This video features walking a bit around some parts of the Smartphone and Feature phone market in Shenzhen, see a bit of how the athmosphere is there. This is where I found my $87 Android Smartphone and my $120 Android powered iphone-copy.

Also watch my other videos in my series “Shenzhen Behind the Scenes“:
1: Hongda Factory tour
2: utopiacn, Apad Android Tablet maker
3: Richtechie.com, Freescale i.MX51/53 PCB designer
4: Walking around the Shenzhen smartphone market
5: 3Gnet Factory Tour

Nokia copy phone at the Shenzhen Electronics Market

Posted by – April 22, 2011

Look into what the new Nokia logo with Microsoft software might look like, or not.

Goolge copy phones at the Shenzhen Electronics Market

Posted by – April 22, 2011

This is what the secret new Android Ice Cream Sandwich might look like, or not.

Shenzhen Behind the Scenes 5: 3Gnet Factory Tour

Posted by – April 22, 2011

Check out how they manufacture and test phones at the 3Gnet Shenzhen headquarters.

Also watch my other videos in my series “Shenzhen Behind the Scenes“:
1: Hongda Factory tour
2: utopiacn, Apad Android Tablet maker
3: Richtechie.com, Freescale i.MX51/53 PCB designer
4: Walking around the Shenzhen smartphone market
5: 3Gnet Factory Tour

3Gnet shows mockup of upcoming Qualcomm 8255 based Android tablet

Posted by – April 22, 2011

For now it’s just a mockup, 3Gnet is working with the Qualcomm Snapdragon development kit to prepare this Qualcomm 8255 based Android tablet.

3Gnet makes Intel Powered UMPC designs

Posted by – April 22, 2011

They make some of the famous Intel powered UMPC designs. I still think that those seem to be expensive, heavy, thick and slow to use which is why the ARM Powered tablets are #winning.

Shenzhen Hongda Technology manufactures $260 14″ Intel Atom laptop

Posted by – April 22, 2011

Another look into the factory of Shenzhen Hongda Technology (see Shenzhen Behind the Scenes 1: Hongda Factory tour) where they manufacture for example this $260 14″ Intel Atom powered laptop.

Archos dominates tablet sales at Hong Kong Golden Computer Market

Posted by – April 21, 2011

Archos surely seems to dominate in terms of nearly every store in Hong Kong that sells tablets have a range of Archos Gen8 tablets for sale right there at prime shelf space, while very few have the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab for sale. It seems consumers and gadget retailers in Hong Kong Electronics Market regard Archos as great value, even as there might be cheaper “Archos Home Tablet” or “Arnova” grade tablets also being sold there, consumers who want high-end experience for low to mid-range pricing, still overwhelmingly choose the Archos tablets.

ABI Research recently speculated that Archos as being the third largest tablet maker worldwide in 2010. If Apple still has 85% in Q1 2011 and with 4.69 million iPads sold, that means Archos would have had to only sell 110 thousand tablets worldwide between January-March 2011 to remain at that 2% 2010 ABI Research speculative worldwide tablet market share.

My theory, Archos probably has more than 6% global tablet market share today

Archos officially released their Q1 earnings at 39€ Million ($56.7 Million) (up 158% from a year before), if an average Archos tablet is sold at $150 to retailers, that would mean Archos may have sold 378 thousand tablets between January and March 2011, that’s thus probably more than 6% worldwide tablet market share for Archos if Apple has 85%.

One things for certain, while the global market share is one thing, another is regional tablet market share, Archos was shown to have over 22% tablet marketshare in November-December 2010 sales for tablets in France, and may thus also have much higher than 6% tablet marketshare in markets like Germany, England, Hong Kong and even the USA.

Another thing to consider, Archos can only have as much marketshare as it can afford to build for.

If you consider Apple may have about 80% tablet market share in Q1 2011, and Archos let’s say 8% in that same period, here are some of the differences between those two companies:

  • Archos has less than 150 employees mostly based in France, $56.7 Million Q1 2011 revenues, Market Capitalisation at $215,34 Million, probably has less than $20 Million in the bank to use for production enhancements, sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.
  • Apple has 49,400 employees (329x more than Archos) mostly based in the USA, $24.6 Billion Q1 2011 revenues (433x more than Archos), Market Capitalisation at $223,77 Billion (1039x more than Archos), probably has over $40 Billion in the bank to use for production enhancements (2000x more than Archos), sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.

This is why Archos has started today issuing a capital increase of upwards $43 Million, a call to their investors to invest more money in new Archos stock. If investors answer the call (by May 4th), Archos may triple their bank account size, thus having more money to spend on increasing production capacity, smoothing sales channels, optimizing software/hardware R&D efficiency, and may gear up for trying to reach upwards 24% global tablet marketshare by the end of the year.

Considering the many new entrants to the tablet market, including major ones like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc, it might be hard for a small company like Archos to reach 24% marketshare in such a rapidly growing market. But who knows, in my opinion, it’s mostly a matter of cash, investments and being able to provide the best value. While Archos may triple their sales having 3x more cash in the bank for tripling production capacity (considering they can easily sell everything that they make), that does not mean they would triple their marketshare if the tablet market at the same time more than doubles in size. They might go from 8% to 12%, something like that. And if the tablet market triples in size they could remain at 8% in a 3x larger market.

ARM receives Queen Award for best UK Enterprise

Posted by – April 21, 2011

HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kin...

The Queen of England gives ARM an award

A Grant of Appointment has been conferred on ARM by Her Majesty the Queen, on recommendation from the Prime Minister, for an award to recognize the innovation that ARM has driven as the world’s leading supplier of low-power, high performance semiconductor intellectual property (IP).

Some key facts:

  • In 2010, the ARM partnership shipped over 6 billion ARM processors, bringing the total ARM processors shipped to over 25 billion.
  • 5 billion cellular connections in the world, ARM present in 95% of mobile devices shipments across all standards from 2G to LTE.
  • 4.5 billion devices shipped in 2010 that include ARM-based chips.
  • ARM-based chips cover a broad range of application areas, from sensors to high performance networking equipment.
  • Average of 2.7 ARM chips per mobile phone, with smart phones containing between 2 and 5 ARM-based chips per device.
  • Approximately 250 companies have licensed ARM processor IP.
  • There are over 800 Partner members of the ARM Connected Community, a diverse ecosystem comprised of silicon, software, tool, foundry and other service providers from all points in the semiconductor value chain.
  • ARM employs over 1900 people with offices around the world, including design centers in France, India, Sweden, and the US.

Source: arm.com
Found via: @ARMCommunity