Apple's iPad sold more than 1 million units in its first month of release, the sort of success that one analytics company sees as translating into a sales boost for Samsung, whose part went into the device. A robust tablet market could translate into similar success for other manufacturers, with companies such as Dell likely examining iPad component-makers as potential suppliers.
The success of Apple's iPad could translate into a market-share
boost for those manufacturers responsible for various parts of the device,
according to a new research note from analytics company iSuppli, with Samsung
being one of the largest beneficiaries. The iPad sold more than 1 million units
in the month following its April 3 general release.
According to analysts, Samsung could be a manufacturer
directly benefitting from its iPad association. According to iSuppli, which
conducted a teardown of the iPad, Samsung "contributed a power management
Integrated Circuit (IC), the S6T2MLCX01 processor voltage regulator" to the
"Apple is the kind of product innovation-and very selective
in every aspect of its hardware design," Marijana Vukicevic, an analyst with
iSuppli, wrote in a May 19 research note. "The company's use of a Samsung part
is likely to attract the interest of other electronics brands and
manufacturers. This could pave the way for Samsung to become a serious
competitor in the power management semiconductor industry and start taking
market share from the existing players."
According to iSuppli, power management semiconductors
constitute a growing market, with global revenue from the segment expected to
rise from $22.4 billion in 2009 to $40.8 billion in 2014. If hardware
manufacturers take note of Samsung's component presence in the iPad, it could
lead to additional contracts for voltage regulators in PCs, televisions and
"Samsung's design win in the iPad by itself is expected to
bring almost $9 million worth of power management revenue for the company this
year-a total that is expected to double in 2011," Vukicevic added in the
research note. "However, this is only the beginning, as Samsung leverages its
internal expertise in analog semiconductors, along with its dominant manufacturing
resources and prodigious capital spending, to muscle its way back into the
power semiconductor market."
Apple claims that sales of the iPad were so robust that it
had to delay the iPad's international launch until late May. That demand could
be a forward indicator of success for the tablet market; a May research note
from Boston Consulting Group suggested that, based on an international survey
of potential customers, some 50 percent to 75 percent of customers will
purchase a tablet device over the next three years.
Those devices would conceivably come not only from Apple,
but manufacturers such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Sony. A recent report
suggested that HP
would release a tablet PC running the recently acquired Palm's webOS operating
system as soon as the third quarter of 2010.
If Vukicevic's prediction holds true, then those future
tablet manufacturers could leverage components built by Samsung and the other
fabricators who contributed to the iPad. That assumes, of course, that tablet
PCs develop into a robust and enduring product category-because if not, then
those same companies will need to look toward more traditional lines, such as
PCs and televisions, to place their power management hardware and other parts.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.