I think a good strategy for smaller manufactures would be to capture vertical markets, instead of regional markets. If they target the supply chain, they can create a tablet that will be the best solution for companies in that area.
A few other ideas are EHR's and other medical markets, one for schools, etc.
I think that, first, competing against Apple, Motorola and RIM will be impossible. They need to build a good user base and then, probably, sell the company to one of the big ones.
Its a good question if there will be enough displays for all tablets. With the increase in sales of tablets, the need of all the components in their part list would have become an issue, LCD displays must be the most ciritical ones. As long as they have multiple suppliers they are safe.
Glass shortages or the film shortgaes or the manufacturing cpapcity constraints will have some affect on the LCD production. But I feel the Tier1 OEM's producing tablets may not hav a big issue. I think many OEM's will actually go in the way of apple considering the huge demand for LCD displays in future because of massive tablet market.
Thanks for all these great questions. Since Marc Herman and I jointly collected the info for both text and multimedia slideshow, I want to make sure we're all tapped into the same conversation. The link for his piece is at here.
Like Barbara, I know little about the glass and LCD supplier segment, and am quickly coming up to speed. On the ground here, someone from a semiconductor company mentioned that there were three key suppliers in Taiwain, and another one that's a division of a large well-known Koren manufacturer. Another chip guy, told us they were in contact with 25 thin film and glass suppliers. So, I don't know yet who's who is this area, and which partners are aligned where and how. We'll see if we can find out. Anyone willing to rattle off some names?
One of the biggest issues, it seems, has to do with the incredible amount of fragmentation that's popping up in tablets, a segment growing expontentially. While Apple may dominate the global scale and many other top-tier manufacturers will be playing in that space, there's going to be lots of regional players going after regional customers, with language and other features adopted for specific countries. For sure, in 2011, we'll see lots of companies coming to the party, but it's hard to say what consumers will perefer.
Another problem is the size of the glass. While guys the we talked to here said that manufacturing faciities were able to change lines for the more standard size glass (which I believe for tablets has been 7 inch and 9.7 inch), we'll see lots more custom sizes, like Samsung's 10.1 inch. Like on the chip lines, changing production capabilities isn't always a simple thing
Generally for tablets as well, there's little on standards. Every tablet is a bit different, running on different OS systems, and with different features bundled into the hardware and software. Here's an article I stumbled on today in Australian Business Traveller that tries to make some sense of this mess.
Barbara, I agree with you that the industry may face shortages of glass in near future. The reason behind this is obviously the unforeseen rise in demand of touch-based devices. I believe a lot more players should enter into displays manufacturing to cater to the demand. This may be lucrative area for them. What are some of the other measures that can be taken to meet the demand?
Oddly, I know a little about the glass used in displays. It is a unique glass that incorporates a lot of materials noy used in typical glass. Additionally, since LCDs are built a lot like semicondcutors, the glass has to withstand some rigorous manufacturing techniques. I believe Corning is the largest supplier of LCD glass--although there may be a supplier in Taiwan that's bigger.
I know less about touch-screen glass, but I'd imagine it's even more specialized. So glass shortages are a very real possibility in the electronics supply chain.
This is very interesting. Do you have details about the possible glass shortage? I take it this glass is made out of something other than the abundant natural resources that are used in low-tech glass.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.