Almost everyone’s attention is focused on Samsung and Sony (and to some extent HTC) at the ongoing IFA conference in Germany, but those who keep their eyes and minds open will notice a few things that the mainstream media pushes to the back of the line. A good example is the entry of the China-based Haier company which, until now, had its business focused on household appliances. This company is now entering into the Android smartphone and tablet market – we do not know why though.
We do not expect a new entrant in the telecommunications devices manufacture to be a formidable challenge to dominant companies such as Samsung, but any new entry means stiffer competition that will drive research and development, stimulate the development of new devices and technologies and drive prices down. We do not expect the first gadget Haier comes up with to be a challenge to leading gadgets in the market now such as the Galaxy S3 phone and the Nexus tablet but it sure will be a good thing to see new devices in the market.
Haier has released a specs sheet that is quite decent for a new entrant, this could draw some attention from the right quarters if they get their prices and marketing strategies right. What they have unveiled is an ‘iPad killer’ tablet called the Maxi Pad 1012. It is a 9.7 inch touchscreen tablet with 1024 X 768 pixels resolution and looks very similar to the first generation of iPad.
The Maxi Pad will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and sports an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, 8GB inbuilt storage with MicroSD slot for memory expansion, WiFi, Bluetooth and HDMI and USB connectors. We could not find the specific details of the processor speed, video memory, RAM or battery capacity but all indications point at this tablet being a mid-range device.
The second Haier Android tablet displayed in Berlin is a 7 inch 1024 X 600 pixels resolution Mini Pad 711. Most of its specs were not revealed too, but we know that it will come with Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system out of the box and will feature a Cortex-A8 processor, Wi-Fi and 8GB inbuilt memory with MicroSD expansion slot.
The Phone Pad 551 is Haier’s smartphone with a rather large screen of 5.3 inches, 940 X 540 pixels resolution. This phablet is most likely to come with Android Jelly Bean (there was no specific details on the OS) and sports an 8MP rear camera, 4GB inbuilt memory, built-in GPS, WiFi and 3G connectivity.
Haier did not reveal what any of these three devices will cost or when they will be available in the market but we expect them to come to the Asian market any time in the last quarter of 2012 at affordable rates. Since Haier is an established company, i do not expect that it will have a problem entering the US and the European markets with their new devices, so we just have to sit back and wait.