Apple controls both the operating system and hardware design of the iPad, it is able to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers can not.
The table shows the overview of the results of the dissection of eight tablet models. Click on the chart to view it in full size. Unfortunately, the chart does not include the newly released Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Verizon 4G LTE model with data speeds as fast as Wi-Fi. The Motorola Xoom is expected to upgraded to 4G LTE in September.
Apple uses its own operating system and maintains tight control of its design, components and contract manufacturers to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers can not.
Wayne Lam, senior analyst, competitive analysis, says that the efficiencies are in areas like the memory and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance.
Other tablet makers employ operating systems from third-party firm. Many tablet makers also outsource the blueprints of their products to third parties, employing reference designs and design services from contract manufacturers.
Apple's control over the operating system allows it to reduce costs by limiting the quantity of memory in the iPad. Apple's iOS handles multitasking differently than other tablet operating systems, allowing it to reduce the amount of memory required to support the microprocessor.
Apple established the sweet spot for tablet pricing, pegged at $500 for the Wi-Fi version of the Apple iPad that included 16 gigabytes of NAND flash memory. Samsung reinforced this pricing standard with the 16-gigabyte version of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 model. The BlackBerry PlayBook and TouchPad also are that price range.
The IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis Service also illustrates the trend toward multi-core processors in tablet designs.
In 2012 IHS expects to see this trend to continue with the introduction of tablets featuring quad-core processors for even more enhanced performance.