You are here

Apple iPad: Where Will the Chips Fall

There has been intense press coverage of the Apple iPad, but not much about the iPad’s impact on the semiconductor industry. That issue is addressed in a new Semico Research Corp. Market Brief, “Apple iPad: Where Will the Chips Fall?”

An important question is whether or not a new market is being created.  There have been numerous attempts at tablet PCs, beginning with the Apple Newton and the AT&T Hobbit. Until now, all have failed; but the situation has changed.  Three applications have emerged since previous tablet PC attempts: Internet access, social networking and electronic books.  These are ideal applications for a tablet PC.  Will they be enough for the iPad to succeed where others have failed? 

There have been a wide range of analysts’ forecasts for iPad shipments, some as high as ten million units for the first year. Semico takes a more realistic view, forecasting total shipment of 1.8 million tablet PC shipments in calendar year 2010.  Higher volumes will follow.  This time around, tablet PCs will succeed.

The iPad uses a proprietary processor and operating system.  Is this the beginning of a trend away from existing MPU architectures?  Will other tablet, netbook, notebook or desktop PC companies follow Apple’s lead?  What will that do to the MPU market?

The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad together consume a significant portion of the total worldwide NAND Flash shipments. With NAND Flash capacity already tight, how long will pricing pressure continue?

Since  the iPad processor is a proprietary chip, and Apple may begin to dominate the NAND Flash market; what’s left in the iPad for the semiconductor industry? Will Apple  become the proverbial “elephant in the room,” for the semiconductor industry? No one talks about it, but its presence looms.

“Apple iPad: Where Will the Chips Fall?” addresses these iPad questions and more from the point of view of the semiconductor industry. It is available immediately at a suggested list price of $1,995. 

Monthly archive