There’s a very interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal, that describes the atmosphere and battles between companies, going on in Shenzhen. This southern Chinese metropolis hosts dozens of Android tablets that get space on the shelves and they’re probably brands you have heard of.

shenzhen

We’ve got Ramos models, Teclast and Colortab, but also less known units from Ployer or Iaiwai. The white tablets look a bit like the iPads, but some of them are sold for as little as $48. I should probably mention a shocking aspect: Shenzhen tablet makers offer about 45% of the world’s tablets, most of them sold in China or developing markets. This is the area that starts to pressure Apple and Samsung more and more.

These Chinese companies are selling tablets with prices 10 times lower than an iPad, or even more affordable. Originally, tablet makers started off with MP3 players and simpler electronics, but after the tablet craze started, they found a new direction. The key to jump from making a mere MP3 player to a tablet is to cooperate with chipmakers, for example. China is lucky enough to get support from MediaTek and Rockchip, plus Allwinner, who actually provide the technical work for these manufacturers.

They also get a template for making the devices, so they’re key in the building process. Ramos has been trying to come up with more original designs than other firms and it also started working with Intel recently. Among these dozens of firms there’s always a boldĀ  and that becomes the next Xiaomi or OnePlus…