Featured: Rockchip Wants to Bring Android 4.0 Tablets in US and EU for Under $100


Rockchip, an ARM chip market for inexpensive tablets, wants to bring Android 4.0 tablets in USA and Europe, from China. After the big news that Ainovo wants to make a $100 Android 4.0 tablet, using the MIPS architecture, it seems Chinese companies want to do it too now, and they want to expand to US and Europe to enlarge their markets and have higher profits.

One of the reasons I believe Android can't be beaten in market share anymore, is because it can be used for any kind of device, and it can easily bring down prices fast in a certain market, thanks to it being an open source OS that is free for manufacturers. The Chinese manufacturers have paid attention to the "success" of the $100 HP Touchpad firesale, and they know there's a huge market for tablets that work reasonably well, have the latest OS, and cost $100-$150. The $200 Kindle Fire has also reinforced this idea that cheap tablets are popular, and millions of people at a time want to buy them.

Rockchip will face competition from ARM titans like Qualcomm, TI, Nvidia and even Samsung in Europe and US, but I think they know those chip makers won't compete with them directly for now, because they won't be in tablets that are so cheap. So the road is clear for Rockchip to dominate the very low end of the tablet market.

MIPS will be their main competitor at that level, however MIPS has one small disadvantage of not being able to run most 3D games and other applications that have been written with native code and not in Java. The Dalvik virtual machine works across architectures, but native code doesn't by default. So unless the developers adopt that architecture, too, some apps won't work on MIPS, although 95% of them should still work. Still it's an advantage that Rockchip will have over MIPS and their tablets.