iPad competitors still can't match Apple's design efficiencies

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
As hardware makers struggle to compete with the iPad in terms of sales, they also can't match Apple's design efficiency, which helps to keep the iPad's costs down, one analysis has found.



IHS iSuppli this week revealed the results of its teardown analysis of eight different tablet models. They found that Apple's control of the iOS operating system allows it to reduce costs by limiting memory quantity and utilizing thinner batteries.



The iPad 2, for example, features just 512 megabytes of SDRAM, which is half the 1 gigabyte found in most competing tablets. That memory density reduction affords Apple a nearly $14 reduction in the build of materials for the iPad 2 compared to other tablets.



By controlling iOS, Apple can ensure that its proprietary mobile operating system features efficient memory usage, and allows the company to build a device with less RAM.



"Since Apple controls both the operating system and hardware design of the iPad, it is able to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers cannot," said Wayne Lam, senior analyst of competitive analysis at IHS. "These efficiencies become obvious in areas like the memory and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance compared with every competitor in the business."



Included in the comparison were three iPad models from Apple: both the first-generation Wi-Fi-only and 3G models, as well as the 3G-capable iPad 2. Also tested were the 7-inch-class Samsung Galaxy Tab and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook; while around the 10-inch screen size were the Motorola Xoom, Asus Eee Pad, and HP TouchPad.



Most tablets that compete with the iPad come from blueprints and reference designs outsourced to third parties. But Apple maintains tight control of the design of its devices, as well as components and contract manufacturers.



"Apple takes a vertically integrated approach to its products, from the operating system to the user interface, to the hardware design, down to the selection of individual parts used in the device," Lam said. "For example, Apple even uses its own applications processor design in both the iPad and iPad 2.







"In contrast, Android tablet makers buy those capabilities from the likes of Nvidia, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm. This gives Apple greater control in multiple areas of product development."



The analysis noted that Apple has sent all of the trends in the tablet market, forcing manufacturers to gravitate toward the $500 "sweet spot" for pricing. And while early competitors embraced the 7-inch form factor, a decision which Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs derided, they have since moved toward the same size range as the 9.7-inch screen on the iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,310member
    Even the original iPad with 256MB of RAM was surprisingly snappy. The iPad 2 is even better which makes me wonder why competitors tout 1GB of RAM yet their tablets perform sluggishly.



    Computers today, now more than ever, have to be properly balanced yet the Android market is mirroring the PC market by marketing speeds and feeds to consumers like these mobile devices are Wintel. Fallacious.
  • Reply 2 of 78
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,305member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Even the original iPad with 256MB of RAM was surprisingly snappy. The iPad 2 is even better which makes me wonder why competitors tout 1GB of RAM yet their tablets perform sluggishly.



    Computers today, now more than ever, have to be properly balanced yet the Android market is mirroring the PC market by marketing speeds and feeds to consumers like these mobile devices are Wintel. Fallacious.



    That's probably part of the reason Google and (most of?) the rest of the handset alliance is trying to standardize hardware, making it easier to optimize the software used to run it.
  • Reply 3 of 78
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Even the original iPad with 256MB of RAM was surprisingly snappy. The iPad 2 is even better which makes me wonder why competitors tout 1GB of RAM yet their tablets perform sluggishly.



    Computers today, now more than ever, have to be properly balanced yet the Android market is mirroring the PC market by marketing speeds and feeds to consumers like these mobile devices are Wintel. Fallacious.



    Those tablet makers are trying to pull 90's techonomics where pretty much everything ran the same Window OS so you could use HW specs to judge which machine would be snappier. That simply doesn't hold when you are using a different OS for each vendor.
  • Reply 4 of 78
    oflifeoflife Posts: 120member
    ...I have owned both iPad 1 and 2, and even with 512MB in the iPad 2, web browsing is horrible - and I won't accept Apple fanbois (of which I am one when they yet things right, such as the MB Air 11"), but 1. Scrolling on a web page is nasty with iPad Safari - the content jumps back up to the top if some content is still loading, something that never happens on any other browser. 2) Worse, and some of us thought this would be cured with iPad 2, content keeps reloading every time you switch pages - this causes havoc if you are posting comments, logged into a service, or just want to go back read something you loaded earlier, but do NOT want updated because the content may change.



    Apple are doing this on purpose to force people who NEED their products to work properly to upgrade. I am willing to bet iPad 3 will NOT do this, yet every Android tablet I know, including those costing just £70 are able to open MULTIPLE web pages properly.



    I am VERY angry at Apple for manipulating their customers and glad that I can remain impartial and not be brainwashed, despite having owned almost every computer or iOS product they have ever made, other than PowerMac or Mac Pro.



    I expect this massive usability flaw in iOS for iPad Safari to be fixed in iOS 5 else I am selling the iPad 2 and getting a Motorola Xoom, LG or Samsung Galaxy Tab.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    umairumair Posts: 16member
    Ii though for a scond that this is BGR
  • Reply 6 of 78
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,305member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by UMAIR View Post


    & i though for a scond that this is BGR



    Never quote spam. It makes the cleanup more time-consuming.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    Since AI is slow at times, I'll put it out... HP just lowered their TouchPad price by $50 on average with some Best Buy stores offering even deeper discounts.



    http://techland.time.com/2011/08/02/...-tablet-by-50/
  • Reply 8 of 78
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post


    Since AI is slow at times, I'll put it out... HP just lowered their TouchPad price by $50 on average with some Best Buy stores offering even deeper discounts.



    Apple is doomed.
  • Reply 9 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    ...

    I am VERY angry at Apple for manipulating their customers and glad that I can remain impartial and not be brainwashed, despite having owned almost every computer or iOS product they have ever made, other than PowerMac or Mac Pro.




    :: pats on back::



  • Reply 10 of 78
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,583member
    I would think the competitors' only real hope is in developing a 7" UI model that works. There is a market at that size that is viable for a variety of reasons including but not limited to portability. Apple will own the 10" space for at least another two years.
  • Reply 11 of 78
    People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.

    talk at Creative Think seminar, 20 July 1982
  • Reply 12 of 78
    storneostorneo Posts: 101member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    Apple are doing this on purpose to force people who NEED their products to work properly to upgrade. I am willing to bet iPad 3 will NOT do this, yet every Android tablet I know, including those costing just £70 are able to open MULTIPLE web pages properly.



    I am VERY angry at Apple for manipulating their customers



    OMG, Apple is manipulating it's customers?! NOOOO!!!!



    Just sell your inferior Apple products now, please!
  • Reply 13 of 78
    cde79cde79 Posts: 9member
    Just did a quick totals of the average net profit made (dif retail and BOM Cost)



    Apple

    $286.33



    Others

    $296.00



    Interesting to note thou that Samsung $487 and Motorola $469 make the most per unit sold
  • Reply 14 of 78
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Maybe its just me but that chart in the article really doesn't support the claims in the article.



    The play book has a lower BOM than any of the current iPads and only slightly higher than the original iPad. The HP touchpad (which is the best for a direct comparison) BOM is only slightly higher than the current iPad.



    What the article claims may be true but I find the evidence somewhat lacking.
  • Reply 15 of 78
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    ...I have owned both iPad 1 and 2, and even with 512MB in the iPad 2, web browsing is horrible - and I won't accept Apple fanbois (of which I am one when they yet things right, such as the MB Air 11"), but 1. Scrolling on a web page is nasty with iPad Safari - the content jumps back up to the top if some content is still loading, something that never happens on any other browser. 2) Worse, and some of us thought this would be cured with iPad 2, content keeps reloading every time you switch pages - this causes havoc if you are posting comments, logged into a service, or just want to go back read something you loaded earlier, but do NOT want updated because the content may change.



    Apple are doing this on purpose to force people who NEED their products to work properly to upgrade. I am willing to bet iPad 3 will NOT do this, yet every Android tablet I know, including those costing just £70 are able to open MULTIPLE web pages properly.



    I am VERY angry at Apple for manipulating their customers and glad that I can remain impartial and not be brainwashed, despite having owned almost every computer or iOS product they have ever made, other than PowerMac or Mac Pro.



    I expect this massive usability flaw in iOS for iPad Safari to be fixed in iOS 5 else I am selling the iPad 2 and getting a Motorola Xoom, LG or Samsung Galaxy Tab.



    Adios. Don't let the door hit you on the way out....or better yet, let it.
  • Reply 16 of 78
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    Apple are doing this on purpose to force people who NEED their products to work properly to upgrade. I am willing to bet iPad 3 will NOT do this, yet every Android tablet I know, including those costing just £70 are able to open MULTIPLE web pages properly.



    I am VERY angry at Apple for manipulating their customers....



    Oh give it a rest.

    Apple is SOOO MEAN! They just want to screw everyone, blah blah blah.



    I have no idea what you mean when you talk about sluggish browsing. Even on iPad 1 I found it more enjoyable than on desktops, and heads and tails above any other touch device I've tried.



    BTW, Apple is A company, not a group of companies, so its "Apple IS", not "Apple ARE".

    You don't say 'Great Britain ARE' do you?
  • Reply 17 of 78
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    ...I have owned both iPad 1 and 2, and even with 512MB in the iPad 2, web browsing is horrible - and I won't accept Apple fanbois (of which I am one when they yet things right, such as the MB Air 11"), but 1. Scrolling on a web page is nasty with iPad Safari .........I expect this massive usability flaw in iOS for iPad Safari to be fixed in iOS 5 else I am selling the iPad 2 and getting a Motorola Xoom, LG or Samsung Galaxy Tab.



    None of the issues you mention is a big deal for me.



    Moreover, some of your annoyances may have to do with web page design (e.g., whether clicking on a link opens a new window). There are tons of other browsers available for the iPad other than Safari, if you cared. (I am partial to Atomic Web myself).



    Hope you enjoy your Xoom (or whatever).



    PS: Posted using my iPad.
  • Reply 18 of 78
    The article above points out that Apple is saving at least 14 dollars per device using 512mb memory since it has superior design. That only represents 126 millions since i think they sold more than 9 million iPads last quarter.

    The control of the whole process never proved to be so right as it is right now. Business models well designed and executed can be a major factor and the increasing sales of all Apple devices prove wrong all those people that critiqued Apple for not sell their software or adopt Microsoft model.

  • Reply 19 of 78
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Maybe its just me but that chart in the article really doesn't support the claims in the article.



    The play book has a lower BOM than any of the current iPads and only slightly higher than the original iPad. The HP touchpad (which is the best for a direct comparison) BOM is only slightly higher than the current iPad.



    What the article claims may be true but I find the evidence somewhat lacking.



    The article supports it. Look at the devices again. The chart only lists the 3G version of the iPad 2. The iPad 2 has a $10 lower BoM from it's iPad 1 counterpart so we apply that difference (or even a percentage) of it to the iPad 2 WiFi we get anywhere from $268 to $258. The only one that bests it from the BoM listing is the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but we need to remember that design efficiencies isn't just about the BoM but include many other facets that bring a design to market and have prices that can greatly affected by economies of scale. When you consider Apple's total design it seems clear to me that Apple is considerably more efficient than their competitors.
  • Reply 20 of 78
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    The iPad sucks!



    My Android tablet is only 2.9 inches thick, weighs 3.2 lbs., has 4 gigs of memory and it's made from laptop parts. This makes it very easy for me to fix it when it needs fixing, and heaven knows, it needs a hell of a lot of fixing. That is one particular feature which sure comes in handy. I happen to walk around with a screwdriver in my pocket, just in case. It also has a super fast 1.8 Ghz quad core processor which means that it only stutters and freezes once every 20 seconds.



    Did I mention that my Android tablet has Flash! Yes, that's right you Apple fanbois and fangirls, it has Flash. I am a huge loser and the opposite sex won't even give me the time of day, so I spend most of my time on Facebook playing Farmville. I don't even dream about girls anymore, I now fantasize about having sex with cows. As you can tell by my tablet choice, I'm a picky person, so I won't just settle for any old cow, I prefer white cows with brown spots on them.



    And yes, iOS has a ton more apps available than Android, I admit that, but who needs apps anyway? Even though the apps that I have on Android look like they were designed by a blind 5 year old, mentally disabled child, I am more than happy with the offering available on Android. I am also a huge cheapskate, and I don't mind ads at all. I have only spent $1.99 for all of my apps put together.



    So there you have it Apple fanbois and girls, I highly suggest that you abandon the closed iOS environment and enter the laggy, choppy, ad plagued, malware infested, inferior performance and amateur app world of Android like I have done. Trust me, you will not regret it.
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