Extremely cheap off-brand Android tablets could boost China market up to 250 million units this year

“There is unquestionably a massive and rapidly growing market for extremely cheap Android tablets in China. How big this grey market is hard to quantify and I know I am not the only analyst currently trying,” Ben Bajarin writes for TechPinions.

“However, through some trusted sources in the supply chain who have common parts across these devices, I think I can approximate its size potential,” Bajarin writes. “Toward the later half of 2012 these tablets sold into China and grey market, super cheap [US$47-$60 for 7-inch, $150 for 10-inch], locally made Android tablets were creeping up on 20 million a quarter. This segment is gaining steam and I believe the market for tablets in China could be as high as 200-250 million units in 2013 largely driven by the grey market and super cheap Android tablets.”

Bajarin write, “These grey market tablets will help develop the market for tablets at large. As Chinese customers experience these products for the first time and potentially refresh them several times a year, these consumers will become accustomed to their needs, wants, and desires with regards to tablets and then begin to shop for products who are innovating and adding value. This is where the brand comes in, because as value is established in the mind of the consumer, they are willing to pay more for the function and convenience.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Chinese consumers: Save the money you would have wasted learning the hard way that you wanted a real iPad and apply it toward a real iPad or iPad mini instead.


  1. I was able to view a ~7″ POS ‘no name’ Android tablet this past Monday. It was ordered off a popular Chinese techno-junk website (which I won’t disclose in order to protect your personal safety).

    It came with dirt little RAM and flash drive space. Therefore, the mini-SD slot came in handy and required immediately filling with at least a 16 GB card for reasonable functionality. It was slow, clunky, but effective for basic Wi-Fi connections and apps.

    As I watched it I got the sense that Android has matured beyond the crawling little counterfeit brat stage. It has achieved the status of walking on two feet. The fact that this crappy little POS ~7″ tablet was reasonably functional indicates that the techno-cattle masses will be ‘settling’ for it in droves.

    The cost was approximately $60 for this little shitester. I cannot imagine it provides the manufacturer with reasonable profit. I cannot imagine it has much of a battery life, long term reliability or ROI (return on investment). There are also the now 100s of Android malware with which to contend, which balloons the TCO (total cost of ownership). I’d rather pave my garden with the things than use them.

    But we Mac veterans know very well that CHEAP CRAP SELLS as long as it works out of the box for a few months and sort of looks like that quality stuff cheapskates won’t pay for. It’s not a market Apple will ever consider entering, thank goodness.

    Where Apple always wins:
    1) Quality
    2) Innovation
    3) ROI
    4) TCO

    Apple gear also makes Apple a decent profit, as it should.

    Back alley Android slap shops aren’t going to make anything beyond meagre profits, as they should. Sell cheap crap to cheapskates and you get the profit you deserve.

      1. Hadn’t thought of that. They’re probably ‘no name’ so no one can get back to the manufacturer when they discover the things are being used to distribute China’s electronic waste throughout the world again.

        No junior. Mustn’t touch the TrashDroid!

        1. Not sure I understand why Apple fans seems to think that Apple is immune to this type product evolution. The original always gets copied by lesser knowns and sold at drastically lower prices and last I checked there has never been a product or a company that can stop it.

          1. I would not call it ‘evolution’ when a developer/creator is ripped off and copied.

            There is certainly no reason for Apple fanatics to expect much of anything else to result. It’s the perennial response to Apple ideas, that and myth-making that Apple themselves must have, gotta have, ripped it off from somewhere.

            What is ‘supposed’ to stop it is the patent and copyright system. Oops. Both are badly broken.

            There are always parasites in the wings waiting to ripoff the latest idea and make a fast criminal buck off it.

            Are your ears still burning Samsung?

  2. Hey Mistah man – wanna buy weely good pone? It no need keyboard it just wok! It wok weely good an it don cost nuffing much cash, it run aneroid stuff and it pac full of shite – when it pack up we get you few more for nuffing much, weely weely good pone! 3 million fell off back of truck, we drowning in crap back here, need much help, yes?! Please take new pone!

  3. I don’t think the writer is using the term ‘grey market’ correctly. From my understanding, gray market usually refers to goods that are manufactured for sale in for one part of the world, but are in fact sold in another. For example, iPhones that are purchased unlocked in the US, then taken overseas and sold on the EU or Chinese “grey” market. These don’t have official warranty or support, but are otherwise legitimate devices, from the original maker, and are new, never opened.

    These no-name Android tablets are extremely crappy and cheap; so crappy in fact that Google does NOT allow certification for their Google Apps (Gmail, Maps, Google Play, etc). Such devices are actually even sold on the American market (check Amazon for sub- $100 tablets). Those really are bottom-of-the-barrel pieces of crap, as users have no way of getting access to Google’s app market. The only way for them to get Apps is through Amazon (which has a fairly small subset of the total), or, of course, trawl the web for bootleg files on torrent sites…

    There crappy tablets serve a purpose: to whet appetites of those still unsure whether tablet makes sense. Life cycle of these crappy tablets is likely less than one year. After that period is up, the owner is more than ready for the real thing.

    1. I don’t think the writer is using the term ‘grey market’ correctly

      Good point. Grey market is used for selling the same item, made cheaper in one country, to people in a country where that item is more expensive.

      Grey market products tick off marketing people because they:
      (A) Throw off their territory sales numbers,
      (B) Eat company profits.


      Japan media companies are infamous for gouging Japanese customers for media product. The Japanese would rather buy their media from the USA where it is much cheaper.

      Japanese media companies have diverted the grey market by offering Japan-only features on their media as well as taking part in the horrific ‘region’ system whereby DVD players are made to play ONLY media from their designated world ‘region’. Therefore, USA DVDs don’t play on Japanese region infested players, and vice versa.

      Meanwhile, Japanese customers, and vice versa, have fought the ‘region’ system by cracking ‘regionalized’ DVD players into ‘no region’ players that can play anything. There are a variety of places where one can obtain ‘no region’ firmware cracks for a variety of DVD players.

      Then Sony fought back by forcing three forms of DRM onto Blu-ray media and players that surveil what customers play on their machines, again forcing the ‘region’ system, among other atrocities.

      Then worldwide Blu-ray customers invented a variety of software and firmware cracks to override all of Sony’s DRM infection crap and let people do what they want with their Blu-ray players anyway!

      And so it goes.

    2. Actually grey market is unauthorized dealers selling product. For example, in the early 80’s Apple, IBM and Compaq had authorized dealers. Dealers would sell excess inventory to 3rd party unauthorized dealers who would then resell it to the public. Those were grey market dealers.

  4. Was at BestBuy where I witnessed the sales guy give an old grandpa a WorstBuy experience. Told him how much better the android version was how neat the camera was….”Look it can zoom and flip from front to back. So much easier than an iPad”… etc. I watched this go for ten minutes…it was horrific. After they finished I asked my ten year old who was with me to play with the device as an experiment to see how a completely unbiased person could use it. It was not pretty. Confirmed all my views about android. I fully expect that grandpa to either return it or completely give up and rack it up to experience with a bad taste for technology for the rest of his days.

    Such a sad event…when I see the elderly get ripped off. Costco is another such place where I see the elderly conned and smoke screened all the time. This same scenario will play out in China too.

    1. It’s not age, it’s ignorance. I overheard a 40ish guy trying to talk his college-bound daughter out of an iPod and into some other MP3 player a while back. He kept referring to his player as an iPod. Good for the girl for standing her ground. she didn’t buy any of his misinformation.

      Probably best to restrain oneself, but it’s really hard not to intervene when you see that nonsense going on. Best Buy is only OK if you never talk to anyone in a blue shirt or white shirt with black tie and slacks. If you’re looking for most electronics products, you should always try Apple Refurbs, Amazon or NewEgg first, but that requires some knowledge, which gets back to my original assertion.

    1. Fortune cookies are not Chinese, but rather Japanese and Chinese American. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/dining/16fort.html

      I was in Hong Kong once around Lunar New Year and went with my hosts to the New Year races. At the gate of the track fortune cookies were being handed to you as you entered. I had to explain to my Chinese hosts what they were, how to open and extract the fortune, then eat. Actually, most were either dropped on the ground on thrown in the trash.

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