The iPad’s components are sourced from a select few top-tier suppliers based out of Taiwan, whose orders from Apple overshadow orders from any other vendor. These suppliers provide the batteries, glass, chassis, touch screen panel, LED back light and more for the production of the iPad.
According to a recent report from Digitimes, there is growing concern among suppliers that if no serious competition emerges for Apple’s iPad, the tablet market may begin to stagnate and component suppliers will face a crisis. With the drop in orders from other tablet makers, these suppliers are concerned that Apple is the only viable player in the tablet industry. If this proves to be the case, suppliers fear Apple’s iPad may saturate the market by as early as 2012, leaving suppliers without work.
While several credible players have tried to topple the iPad, none have been able to capture any considerable market share. Motorola, RIM, Vizio, Samsung and others have released viable tablet alternatives but so far none have proven to be a blockbuster with consumers or enterprise customers. Amazon’s new Kindle Fire may be the first tablet to give the iPad a run for its money this holiday season and may ultimately help component suppliers expand their business.
The desire to expand business is leading some second-tier suppliers to go after business from smaller tablet PC players in the market. These component suppliers are betting their ability to be responsive while all the big tier supplier are tied up with Apple will be the key to their success. Smaller component suppliers can handle smaller volume orders and have greater flexibility, which may help them stay afloat if other tablets fail to crack the iPad’s lead.
There is no doubt that the iPad has a huge market share, but who knows what the future will hold for other tablets in 2013.
[Image courtesy of iFixit]