infoTECH Feature

May 17, 2011

Nvidia Chief Foresees Android Tablets Giving Apple iPads Stiff Competition

Despite impressive growth predicted for Apple’s iPad this year by market watcher IHS (News - Alert) iSuppli, graphic chip designer Nvidia’s chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang is confident that Google Android tablets will give iPads stiff competition within three years. Huang told attendees at Reuters (News - Alert) Technology Summit in New York on Monday that within three years Google’s Android platform combined with Nvidia processors could overtake Apple’s red hot iPads.

As reported by Reuters, Nvidia chief thinks that tablets using new versions of Android, including Honeycomb, would outsell iPads as developers create more games and better software to go with them.

According to Huang, wrote Reuters, “The Android phone took only two and a half years to achieve the momentum that we're talking about. I would expect the same thing on Honeycomb tablets.”

Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processors launched recently are gaining momentum in PCs and smarphones as major players like Samsung and Motorola (News - Alert) Mobility adopt them for their products. In fact, Huang said Nvidia's next-generation mobile processor, code named Kal-El, has already won spots in several devices planned by major PC and phone manufacturers, including smartphones, tablets and low-powered laptops, as per Reuters report.

Furthermore, at the Technology Summit, the Nvidia chief indicated that at least 10 manufacturers are using Nvidia’s next generation processors – five major phone companies and five major PC manufacturers.

Kal-El is a quad-core processor with higher-resolution graphics and some media reports have called it Tegra 3. It is designed to give DSP from competitors like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments (News - Alert) a stiff competition in smartphones and tablets. And products based on Kal-El processors are slated for release before the year-end.

Regardless of Apple’s short-term advantages, the tablet competition is mounting and Apple’s market share will decline during the next five years, reports market watcher IHS iSuppli.

The research firm forecasts that Apple will lose its majority position in late 2012 or early 2013, although its earlier momentum is likely to leave it with more than 50 percent share of the global 2012 tablets market.

According to IHS, in 2013, shipments of other media tablets will rise to 111.1 million units as compared to only 81.3 million iPads. By 2015, other media tablets will account for 164.2 million units while iPad shipments will be around 97.9 million units, predicts IHS.

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Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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