Trendforce predicts that there would be more 7-inch tablets that cost less than $150 to arrive in markets next year. The market intelligence provider that is based in Taiwan identifies the use of inexpensive tablet components to be crucial in making this possible. This development was already begun by Google and Amazon, two companies which both offer 7-inch tablets that both retail at $199.
According to Trendforce, 35 to 40% of the cost of a 7-inch tablet is due to its panels and touch modules. Trendforce believes that by using a less expensive 7-inch TN LCD panels instead of 7-inch FFS panels, which are more often used today, companies can cut the cost of the panel by as much as one-half. On the other hand, using a G/F/F (glass/film/film) touch module in place of a G/G (glass/glass) or OGS (one glass solution) touch module can bring down costs by about 70%. Using a TN LCD panel plus a G/F/F touch module will make the cost drop by around $25, as well.
More savings are also expected by opting for a 1GB commodity DRAM, which costs around $3.50 instead of a 1GB mobile DRAM, which is valued at $10. Meanwhile, tablet makers can use a 4GB eMMC, which costs $4, instead of an 8GB eMMC, which is priced at $6.
Tablet makers, likewise, have a wide range of choices in terms of processors, thanks to Chinese companies like Amlogic, Allwinner Technology, Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics, and others which sell 40-55nm-based processors for only around $12 each.
On the part of the consumers, these savings mean that there would be more options in terms of the available 7-inch models in the market. However, there are expected to be some compromises that will be made in terms of quality when tablet makers choose cheaper components. That said, the availability of less costly components could also lower the prices of the more expensive tablets.