NVIDIA to start making Tegra smartphones and tablets itself. As white label boxes sold through local partners

NVIDIA has been trying to break in to the smartphone and tablet markets with its Tegra chipsets for a few years now. But, so far, it had only a limited success.

Yes, they managed to get Tegra 3 CPU into a few smartphones and even more tablets. Still, by and large, the market is dominated by Qualcomm on the higher end, while Mediatek is taking over the low cost Chinese vendors.

But, according to Mobile Review’s Eldar Murtazin, NVIDIA has a plan for 2013. A plan that may rapidly turn things around, explode the number of Tegra running devices and secure the graphic chip vendor’s place in mobile.

And that plan is – getting into the business of making tablets and smartphones itself. With a little twist.

You probably won’t see a tablet or smartphone under NVIDIA brand anytime soon. What they will do – is develop the reference designs, and contract manufacture cheap white label devices for others to sell under their own brands. Those others? Small regional players that until now have been pushing cheap and low quality Chinese made tablets and phones in local markets. Think Fly and Wexler in Russia, or Micromax and Lava  in India.

Wexler Tab

By designing and manufacturing the end products itself, NVIDIA gets the opportunity to fully control the features and performance of devices, while assuring the high quality of the end product. By signing up a bunch of local and regional players to push these gadgets, NVIDIA gets the distribution, volume and scale necessary to buy the components at a competitive price. While NVIDIA partners get the opportunity to seriously undercut first tier brands in price, while delivering the products of comparable quality.

It will start this May-June, with tens of cheap and high quality 7-10” tablets popping up in various markets, under different brands, seemingly out of nowhere. Some of them will have NVIDIA or Tegra name on, some won’t. The branding decisions are left to local partners. But all of them will be one of the same few basic models, designed and manufactured by NVIDIA. The company aims to have one or two strong partners per market, with a goal on making them into a strong regional vendors over time.

This white label/reference design approach is nothing new to NVIDIA. They already tried and succeeded with it in PC Graphics Card market, and now are applying lessons learned to a highly competitive mobile industry. If they succeed, the prices on high quality tablets and smartphones are going down even faster than I expected.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Shit on ur pants

    ohh Shit!!!!!!!!

    Long live the mass market!!!!

  • Skandalfo

    So… Who will support your ElCheapo-Brand tablet and update it to the latest Android version once it gets out? NVIDIA? ElCheapo? Cyanogen?

  • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

    I’d guess “ElCheapo” with a strong backing from Nvidia. Since there will be only a few base models, it won’t be difficult for Nvidia. That’s assuming that these small players stick to stock Android. I don’t think they’ll want to invest in developing their own overlays.

  • http://www.teqno-logical.com/ Teqno-Logical

    I’d definitely buy a device from Nvidia! :)