According to DRAMeXchange, the research department of Trendforce, with the great anticipation, Apple released the next generation iPad (iPad2) on March 2nd along with the announcement of sales in the U.S. on March 11th and rest of worldwide apple stores on March 25th. iPad2 is expected to stir up a strong competition in the 2011 tablet PC market.
Facing the promising Android tablet, Apple has made some adjustments on iPad2. iPad2 is now available in two colors, black and white. Second generation iPad weights 70 to 100 grams lighter than iPad1, while its thickness improved from 13.4 mm to 8.8 mm. Equipped with Dual-core A5 CPU, iPad2 offers twice the performance and multiple times graphic capability than the previous generation. The front and back cameras can now fully support the application of face Time video conferencing and video recording. Same Gyroscope embedded to offer the same iPhone 4 experience and boost gaming experience. We have seen a great hardware improvement on iPad2, largely improved user experience and performance.
iPad2 strategically priced the same as the previous generation iPad, with 32GB/WIFI version priced at $499 and 32GB/3G version priced at $699. The 3G version will be available at AT&T and Verizon. According to DRAMeXchange, iPad outperforms rest of its competitors with better hardware and software integration and a large selection of application software and services. Most non-iPad tablet are priced around $599 to $699, we believe iPad2 prevailed with best cost structure, procurement bargaining power and retail price.
However, with the booming tablet market, different products will be positioned to serve different customers. Potentially creating various niche markets within and help the tablet market to become prevalent and improved, and ultimately offer more application software services to the customers. Thus, DRAMeXchange believes 2011 is a promising year for tablet PC, with the expected shipment to reach 55 million units. Especially iPad2, with the better software and hardware integration and pricing strategy, will have the chance to grab more than 70% of the tablet market.
2H’February NAND Flash contract price remains steady
2H’February NAND Flash contract price remained steady. Some Flash vendors indicated the steady contract price is a result of the stable OEM purchasing orders placed. However, some vendors have mildly downward adjusted the contract price, mainly because of the slow memory card sale season and the quarter-end effect.
DRAMeXchange expects NAND Flash price to be influenced by following factors: 1.) Retail memory card and UFD market will enter the traditional slow season after the Chinese New Year. Memory card makers are relatively conservative toward inventory replenishment and the inventory level. 2.) The supply constraint resulted from the Toshiba power outage incident is resolved and all shipment is expected to be back to normal in March. 3.) The purchasing orders placed from OEMs will remain steady until the mid 2Q11. 4.) 2xnm technology will mature and possibly enhance output growth in 2Q11. 5.) The cost advantage resulted from technology migration will enable vendors to implement more aggressive pricing at the end of 1Q11 and 2Q11 and further encourage buyers to implant higher content per box. 6.) The difference in application and demand among buyers will result in a complicated pricing strategy from vendors. In short, DRAMeXchange expects NAND Flash contract price to remain steady and otherwise mildly decline in March.