Compal Electronics – Canary in the Coalmine?

Compal Electronics is a huge manufacturer of electronics in Taiwan but with factories around the world. They make notebooks for many of the big players of IT like Acer, HP, and Dell. Their monthly sales figures and projections are in line with my estimates of how IT is going as far as the PC and tablets are going. 1H 2011 revenue is down 24% (all segments) from 2010. Compal expects to ship 42million notebooks and 3 million tablets in 2011. Tablet shipments are increasing but notebook shipments are not.

With the imminent release of Android 4.0 I see growth in tablets continuing. Since none of Apple’s tablets are made by Compal, I expect Compal’s numbers reflect the situation for Android, about 7% of the number of notebooks shipped will be the number of Android tablets shipped. About 200million notebooks ship annually so about 14million or more Android/Linux tablets should ship. That’s about 30% of projected tablets shipments (52million). While fans may crow that iPad dominates the table market, Apple’s share is soon to drop below 50%. The fact that Android/Linux is shipped by a host of manufacturers does not prevent it’s imminent dominance of the tablet market which should be complete by the end of 2011. It will still be a year or more before “8” emerges on tablets and Android/Linux will have a huge lead by then. Without the “legacy apps” running on ARM, M$ has no inside track on tablets.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Compal Electronics – Canary in the Coalmine?

  1. The explosion has happened. The sound has not yet reached some retail shelves.

  2. oiaohm says:

    More serous question is when will Compal Electronics start just directly shipping to consumers.

    The advantage of android is Compal and others can do this don’t need to go through HP and others to get decent Microsoft license prices.

    The clock is ticking on the old systems we are use to.

  3. Apple does not have the channel that Android/Linux has. The product is decent but does not offer all the choices that people demand. For example, people demanding low price cannot go with iPad or iPhone. Also, Apple does not and cannot control all the means of production. They are not big enough. So, the hundreds of producers are free to build Android/Linux systems and they will find buyers.

    In China, Apple has just a couple of stores yet China buys more PCs and more smart phones than USA. It’s like weeds. If there is one dandelion in your yard you might walk over and dig it out. If there are a thousand in your yard, you will spray 2,4-D. People notice and respond more with more choices. Overwhelmed by choice, consumers will see what others are buying and growth is exponential for the desirable kind. The rate of growth of Android/Linux devices is more than double iOS so no matter how big the lead, Android/Linux will overtake it.

    Android initial release was 2008-10-21. Two years later, it was the top-selling smart phone platform.
    iPhone initial release was 2007-6-29, so it had more than 1 year headstart and lost the lead in three years (2 years after Android emerged on smart phones).
    iPad initial release was 2010-4-9. It seems poised to lose the lead in two years. The onslaught of Android tablets has been a trickle up to now. Ice-cream sandwich will be very popular with OEMs and consumers because it will be much better than 2.x or 3.x and the same on both smart phones and tablets, eliminating fragmentation of platform.

    “8” will no doubt increase interest in ARMed smart thingies but offers no compelling reason to choose “8” over Android/Linux. Further, “8” will be a higher price for little value and few legacy apps. “8” will be just another platform competing with Apple and Apple will lose some share to it. By the time “8” emerges, Android/Linux could have the market sewn up. It could have a two year lead on “8”.

    We should know the score by Christmas. Then the latest Android/Linux will be out and available in quantity. Apple may or may not have a new version and M$ will still be in the wilderness.

    Apple does have a loyal following and their products appeal to sector of consumers but Android also has a loyal following and a much wider sector of consumers simply because coverage is global and prices range from $100 or a bit less. Almost everyone can afford an Android device.

  4. Contrarian says:

    “Some others see Apple’s roll continuing, but they are wrong”

    And you are right? Why?

  5. Read, please…
    “”Apple’s iOS share will continue to lead by more than 40 percentage points over Google’s Android for the remainder of the year, but we expect Apple’s share to fall closer to 50 per cent by the end of the forecast period as manufacturers bring new tablets to market,” said IDC.”


    Some others see Apple’s roll continuing, but they are wrong.

  6. Contrarian says:

    “so about 14million or more Android/Linux tablets should ship. That’s about 30%”

    You are a master of the three-rail billiard shot, #pogson! You take an individual company’s projection, then apply it to an unrelated swag value for the world’s production of notebooks and extrapolate a ratio to predict Android tablet sales based on another unrelated guess, by a bank at that, which also asserted the the increases would be in iPads, not Android tablets. It boggles the mind.

    “Apple’s share is soon to drop below 50%”

    Pardon me for being so contrary, #pogson, but your cite says that Apple’s share is 68% and growing. How does this support your headline? Did you post the wrong URL?

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