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Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet

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2010 – the 1st grand year of:

3.5G...3.9G level mobile Internet
• system-on-a-chip (SoC) and
reflective display technologies

Why viewed most (till Feb 1):

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Core information:


Follow-up: First real chances for Marvell on the tablet and smartphone fronts [Aug 21 – Sept 25, 2011]

Brazil, Russia (sort of), India, and China (BRIC) are the current leading lights for most of the businesses looking for high growth markets in 2011. This is not different for the ICT industry either. See more about that in the “Analysts about the BRIC market potential” part of this post far below. This will also be showing how promising is the new BRIC-oriented end-customer strategy of Marvell.

If one knows very little or nothing about Marvell it is recommended first to read my preceding post Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23, 2010 with updates upto Jan 17, 2011].

Follow-up: High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011]

No wonder that Marvell has started to implement one of its long-range end-customer strategies, the so called Moby (see above and/or click) first in India then in other parts of the BRIC. As PC World (IDG News) reported in its Tablets Using Marvell’s Moby Design in India Soon [Jan 27] article (emphasis is mine):

Tablet computers built to Marvell’s Moby reference design should launch in India in the first half of this year, an executive of the company said on Thursday.

The chip company is partnering in India with consumer electronics vendors, mobile handset makers, and mobile service providers who will be offering the product under their own brands, said Anand Ramamoorthy, Marvell’s country head of sales and marketing in India, on Thursday. He did not disclose the names of the partners.

Marvell announced in March last year a US$99 prototype for a multimedia tablet targeted at education.

The basic configuration in India is likely to be priced closer to 10,000 rupees ($216) because of the high import duties and the cost of distribution in the country, Ramamoorthy said. In emerging markets, there isn’t a model whereby hardware costs are subsidized by service contracts, he added.

India and China will be the first among emerging markets where the tablets will ship, with plans to also introduce the products in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

As emerging markets are price-sensitive, Marvell’s strategy is to position a low-cost configuration as a volume product.

In India, the company is expecting its partners to deliver for 10,000 rupees a 7-inch tablet with a capacitive LCD screen, that will be built around the Armada 168 processor at 800 MHz, and offer 720p video and Wi-Fi connectivity. It will run the Android operating system and other open source software, Ramamoorthy said.

The actual price in these markets will depend on partners and their business and margin models, Ramamoorthy said. Some partners may decide to offer high-end, more expensive devices as well, he added.

Marvell will have two primary manufacturers globally, including Foxconn. Partners selling the tablets will however be free to choose manufacturers from a pool of Marvell’s manufacturing partners, Ramamoorthy said.

Follow-up: Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15]

Marvell’s current on-line press kit [Jan 9] contains the following documentation and images related to the Moby design:
Mobylize Prototype – It’s Time to Mobylize for America’s Students! [Fast Facts, Jan 3]
Marvell Showcases Moby Tablet and Extensive Line of Other Advanced Connected Devices for the Always-On Lifestyle at International CTIA Wireless 2010 [CTIA Press Release, March 23, 2010]
Marvell Drives Education Revolution with $99 All-in-One Mobile Tablet Designed for the World’s Students [Press Release, March 18, 2010]

Marvell Moby White Vertical: students screen

In the latest Jan 3 Fast Facts (linked above) the following prototype features and technical specifications are given:

Moby Prototype Features
• Future-Proof Learning: Mobylize leverages the powerful and open Android OS platform to ensure an open and growing ecosystem of learning technologies
• Multi-Sensory Interaction: Mobylize’s touchscreen interface, as well as video and audio capabilities, creates a highly interactive and engaging learning experience.
• Always-On Technology: With 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity and web browsing with Adobe® Flash® Lite 3.1, students can learn seamlessly with online and offline technologies in today’s always-on environment.
• Multimedia Education: Integrated multi-media player, photo viewer, instant messaging and more drive learning potential exponentially beyond the classic textbook.
• Drives Green Classroom: Marvell technology provides high energy-efficiency that energizes hours of learning.

• ARMADA 168 (1 GHz), WMMXTM multi-media acceleration engine
• 256MB DDR2 RAM
• Android OS
• 2D graphics engine, WMMX, QdeoTM intelligent color, remapping technology
• 10.1” TFT LCD display, 1024 x 600 resolution, Capacitive touch panel
• 4GB NAND flash, Micro-SD up to 16GB
• Two stereo speakers (1W each), built-in microphone
• USB 2.0 (x1 host, 1x device) • Micro SD card, MIC and Ear phone jack, 12V DC-in
• 802.11 b/g connectivity
• 2800mAh; 7.4 volts battery

Note however that in the press release of last March (also linked above in  PDF form) the higher ARMADA™ 600 class processor has been indicated:

About Marvell Moby Tablet

Powered by high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell® ARMADA™ 600 series of application processors, the Moby tablet features gigahertz-class processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics capability and support for multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android™ and Windows Mobile.  The ultra low power Moby tablet is designed for long-battery life.

as well as for the Moby MED reference design announced in another press release Marvell Drives ‘Telehealth” Revolution with Moby MED Always-On Medical Tablet [Apr 21, 2010]. Note that Moby MED devices are quite different since (as per the press release):

Healthcare-focused Tablets With Multiple Simultaneous Viewing Screens Including Video Conferencing and Live TV Allow Consumers to Manage Medical Records, Conduct Live Physician Consultations, View 3D Images and Sonograms, Collect Real-Time Data From Personal Monitoring Devices, Access Information From Online Sources, and More.

which is currently looking much more suitable for the developed markets.

The remark, that “Some partners may decide to offer high-end, more expensive devices as well” could — however — point to the fact that even for the education market Marvell partners could use a higher end tablet offering as well, at least as an alternative. This could also explain why a Moby2 prototype design is already existing as evidenced by the image gallery shown above.

On CES 2011 the ARMADA 168 based Moby prototype has also been called Marvell 100 series tablet [Jan 6, 2011].

[CES 2011] Marvell’s foray into the tablet market sees this rather cute and well designed model, the 100 series. Unlike other tablets that are in the market, this one comes with Android 2.2 (instead of 2.1), while sporting a rather young, all-white design with all the lines in the right places. A microSD memory card slot is there for expansion purposes, and you won’t get multi-touch support on the 10” display which is a bummer, so forget about zooming in or out in Angry Birds. There is 1GB of internal memory inside, while Wi-Fi connectivity is supported although 3G will not be present when it hits the market sometime this year for $199 a pop [with $99 manufacturing cost — see in the below video]. Of course, as with Marvell’s OLPC project, the 100 series will target the educational environment more. It is pretty heavy, but it won’t weigh a ton like most textbooks. Looks hardy enough to stand up to the rigors of restless kids, too! Interestingly enough, being an Android-powered device, it has more than the usual 4 buttons of Home, Menu, Back and Search, but will include the “Up” and “Down” buttons, too.

while the more performant one which is based on ARMADA 600 is also called 600 series accordingly. More information:
Marvell 600 series tablet has interesting implications [6 Jan]
Marvell 600 Tablet Series Graphics Performance Demo at CES 2011 [Jan 24]
– and the video Mobylize Tablet on ABC News: Good to Know [Jan 10, 2011]

Note while watching the video that the LCD screen used in the tablet has wide viewing angle.

The title of the above is mentioning “Mobylize” instead of “Moby”. This is a typical confusion. The truth is that Mobylize is:

a campaign aimed at improving technology adoption in America’s classrooms

which was announced with the One Laptop per Child and Marvell Join Forces to Redefine Tablet Computing for Students Around the World [May 27, 2010] by which:

Marvell and OLPC Empower Education Industry to Revolutionize the Classroom Experience through Advanced, Affordably-Priced Tablets

and which was extensively discussed in my post Marvell ARMADA with sun readable and unbreakable Pixel Qi screen, and target [mass] manufacturing cost of $75 [Nov 4, 2010].

The campaign (http://www.mobylize.org/) has a Tablet Demos page which absolutely clarifies the education tablet offering as:

7″ Tablet with a 7″ TFT LCD display of 800 x 480 resolution, Bluetooth 2.1 and with form, size and weight as shown below:

Marvell Moby 7 inch tablet

10″ Tablet with a 10.1″ TFT LCD display of 1024 x 600 resolution and with form, size and weight as shown below:

Marvell Moby 10 inch tablet

with the rest of the specifications the same, i.e.
Processor: ARMADA 168 (1 GHz), WMMX™ multi-media acceleration engine
Memory: 256MB DDR2 RAM
OS: Android
Graphics/Video: 2D graphics engine, Various format video decode up to 720p through S/W, Qdeo™ intelligent color remapping technology
Display: with resistive touch panel
Storage: 4GB NAND flash, Micro-SD up to 16GB
Audio: Built-in microphone, Two stereo speakers
Sensors: Accelerometer [s ?for 10″ one?]
Ports: USB 2.0 (x1 host, 1x device), 2-in-1 card reader, MIC and Ear phone jack, 12V DC-in
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g
Battery: 2200mAh; ~8 hour use
Example Features: Complete web browsing experience with Adobe® Flash® Lite 3.1, Multi-media player, Photo viewer, Instant messaging

Currently the Mobylize Development Kit with the 10″ version is available for pre-order from Aluratek for $299.  Till Feb 28 there is CES Promotion with 20% off. It is shipping April 15th. Aluratek will introduce a similar 10″ product of its own in February, called Cinepad, which is ensuring Moby tablets availability in the US as well:
CES 2011: Aluratek Announces Libre Air eBook Reader with Wi-Fi and
New Cinepad Android Tablet
[Jan 6]
Aluratek Cinepad & Libre Coming In April [VIDEO] [Jan 13]
CES 2011 – Aluratek Cinepad [Jan 10]
The Year of the Tablet [Jan 18]

Within Mobilize there was also an app competition (see: Marvell to Fund Next Generation Education Apps [Sept 27, 2010]) with recent results as per Marvell Announces Winners of Its ‘$100K Challenge’ Tablet App Competition [Jan 6]:

The winner of the $50,000 top prize is the application Battleship Numberline, a multitouch educational game that helps strengthen math skills. “Improving your ability to estimate along a number line correlates with math performance all the way up to 6th grade,” said lead developer Derek Lomas, a 29-year-old Ph.D. student at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “Marvell is doing great things for the future of education by seeding a development community for educational apps.”

The winner of the second-place prize of $30,000 is the application Imagine Mathematics, which illuminates math disciplines like algebra, trigonometry and calculus by taking students behind the scenes and showing them how these disciplines are used in the creation of animated movies from studios like Disney and Pixar. The creator of the app is 36-year-old Seth Piezas, a former technical director at Pixar Animation Studios who now runs his own interactive agency, Colabi.

“I want high school students to see the practical applications of math and the cool things they can create,” said Piezas. “The tablet computer really is an amazing platform for the classroom. I just wish I had something like it when I was a kid.”

The third-place prize of $20,000 goes to Homework Management System, an application that allows students to create quiz questions based on what they have learned in the classroom, which  teachers then can distribute to other students for quiz-show style gaming or for homework assignments.

More information:

Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple Hummingbird in the SoC market [again] [Sept 23, 2010 with updates up to Jan 17, 2011] with all SoC product information including background

Marvell ARMADA with sun readable and unbreakable Pixel Qi screen, and target [mass] manufacturing cost of $75 [Nov 4, 2010]

Marvell beaten by Chinese chipmakers in sub 1,000 yuan handset procurement tender of China Mobile [Nov 15, 2010]

Analysts about the BRIC market potential

In recent Forrester report (see the Forrester: Global Tech Economy Will Substantially Outgrow The Overall GDP In 2011 [Feb 2] press release copy since on the Forrester’ site it is not more available) the #1 prediction is that:

The Tech economy will substantially outgrow the overall GDP.

with the following details:

The global technology industry is in a multiyear up-cycle of industry innovation and growth, during which tech investment grows faster than overall economic growth. This cycle, which is already under way in the US and other developed countries, is based on adoption of a new generation of Smart Computing and Cloud Computing technologies. We expect this cycle to ensure 7.5% growth in US IT purchases, and 7.1% growth globally (measured in USD), despite economic worries in Europe, uncertainties about the strength of economic recovery in the US, and the potential for slowing growth in China.

in 2011, Brazil, Russia (sort of), India, and China (BRIC) will see some of the fastest (11%) growth in IT purchases in 2011, with other emerging markets such as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Chile, and Mexico seeing similarly strong growth.

The 2011 Accenture Consumer Electronics Products and Services Usage Report which came out under the title “Finding Growth:  The Emergence of a New Consumer Computing Paradigm” [Jan 3] has some very significant survey results regarding the BRIC market (in text empasis is mine):

[p. 4, Executive Summary part] A widening enthusiasm gap

The urban consumers in Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC markets) have leapfrogged the average mature market consumer in their use of technology. They have a much greater appetite for consumer technology from many measures, including the devices they own, their purchase plans and their use of applications. Counter to common misperceptions, a large segment of BRIC consumers are more interested in the newest and most innovative technologies than in the lower price point technologies with less functionality. BRIC market consumers have a higher rate of adoption of the newest technologies and a greater willingness to pay premiums for features and enhancements. For instance, a full 84 percent of Indian respondents say they will pay a premium for enhanced smartphone capabilities. That translates into roughly 148 million consumers.

In the BRIC markets, in particular, prospects are bullish for spending on consumer electronics in 2011. This is especially true in China, where this year’s purchasing plans for technologies such as smartphones and high-definition TVs are staggering. Assuming China has an estimated 167 million urban households and an estimated urban population of 434 million people in the consuming age, 38 million high-definition TVs and 63 million smartphones will be purchased there in 2011.

In contrast, mature markets are more conservative and price sensitive. Consumers in the US, Japan, Germany and France have less ambitious plans to purchase new devices in 2011, use fewer applications overall, and are far less willing to pay premiums for new features and enhancements. And, while consumers 55 years or older in mature markets tend to have higher disposable income (and therefore greater ability to spend on technology), they more often wish to spend as little as possible to keep up on the technology adoption curve. In contrast, younger consumers in BRIC markets demonstrate a huge appetite for electronics, but like millennials around the globe, they are often harder to please, less loyal and have less disposable income to spend.

A new consumer technology paradigm

Another benchmark of the new technology paradigm is that as new technologies emerge, consumers are increasingly quick to stop using particular devices if they feel they have the same functionality in another device that performs the same function better—especially in BRIC markets. Twelve percent of consumers surveyed in the BRIC markets stopped using mobile phones in 2010 because they had another device with the same functionality. This compares with only five percent of consumers in mature markets who jettisoned their mobile phones. And, in both mature and emerging markets, younger people appear to be far more willing to let go of duplicative devices.

[p. 5] In summary, in the fast-changing consumer electronics industry, exploiting big growth opportunities is becoming increasingly difficult. Our research helps consumer tech companies with this challenge by offering information on the hottest current and emerging geographic, product and  application markets for consumer technology. For instance, the highest spending in 2011 (and we believe for years to come) is projected to be in urban and semiurban BRIC markets. Demand for mobile applications such as banking continues on a strong growth trajectory. And new technologies (such as tablet PCs and e-book readers) and next-generation technologies (such as smartphones, 3-D and Internet-capable TVs) are projecting substantial growth.

[p. 13] Interestingly, one-quarter of respondents globally don’t plan to purchase any consumer technologies in 2011. More than one-third (37 percent) of those 55 and older don’t plan any purchases, compared with only 15 percent of those between 18 and 24 years of age. And a stark contrast in purchasing plans exists between mature and BRIC markets: 40 percent of respondents in mature markets don’t plan to purchase any consumer electronics in 2011, compared with only 9 percent of those in the BRIC markets.

[p. 16] Our study shows that BRIC markets have far greater enthusiasm for technologies and appetite for purchasing them than non-BRIC countries, especially the latest devices such as tablet PCs. One could infer that the lower use of computers in BRIC countries is an indication that these consumers are finding alternate devices to do those activities formerly done on the computer—and may, in fact, have simply leapfrogged the step of owning a computer that those in mature markets had to take because at the time there were no other options.

[p. 24] When reviewing information on “heavy users” of activities—those who do the activity at least five hours per week—interesting patterns emerge. For instance, among millennials in the BRIC markets who are heavy watchers of shows and videos, a larger share (44 percent) watch them on a PC or laptop than on a television (chosen by 30 percent).

… Of those who don’t own an e-book reader, more than half said that it is because they prefer paper books. But 20 percent said they preferred other electronic devices than an e-book reader
for reading books, such as a phone, PC or tablet PC. In emerging markets, the percentage of respondents who prefer other electronic media for e-book reading is much higher: 34 percent in BRIC markets versus 7 percent for mature-market countries.

[p. 34] The tablet PC: The hot consumer electronic

The tablet PC is gaining market momentum. One need only look at the millions of sales of iPads and Galaxy Tab tablet computers since they were each launched in 2010 to know that this device is rapidly becoming popular among consumers.

According to Accenture’s research, 8 percent of consumers surveyed now own a tablet PC and about one-third of those individuals (3 percent total) purchased their tablet PC in 2010 (Figure 21). Eight percent of respondents globally plan to purchase a tablet PC in 2011—a purchase rate that would double tablet PC ownership globally in just one year.

BRIC market consumers are more enthusiastic purchasers of tablet PCs than are mature-market consumers. More than double the percentage of BRIC consumers currently own one, and double the consumers plan to buy one in 2011, than consumers in mature markets. But what is most astounding about tablet PC consumption is that nearly one-quarter of Chinese respondents (across ages within urban areas) currently own one. That is nearly three times the global average. The purchase rate in China was more than double the global average in 2010. And looking forward, China is potentially the strongest market for tablet PCs this year, with 18 percent of Chinese respondents planning to purchase one in 2011. If one does the math, tablet PC ownership would reach almost 40 percent of the urban adult population of China by 2012.

Although far behind China in consumption, India has the second-highest penetration of tablet PCs globally, with 10 percent of consumers owning one. Future growth for tablet PCs in India also looks strong: 10 percent of Indian respondents plan to purchase a tablet PC in 2011. Interestingly, Indian consumers seem less committed to the new technology than other countries. Five percent of those owning a tablet PC quit using it last year because they had the same functionality in another device (globally, the defection rate for tablet PCs was 2 percent).



  1. […] Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet Powered by high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell® ARMADA™ 600 series of application processors, the Moby tablet features gigahertz-class processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, […]

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  6. […] Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Feb 21, 2011] – Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, […]

  7. […] Apple! [Feb 21, 2011] – Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011] – Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, 2011] – Changing purchasing attitudes for consumer computing are leading to a new ICT […]

  8. […] dominance [March 8, 2011] – Kinoma is now the marvellous software owned by Marvell [Feb 15, 2011] – Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, 2011] – Marvell ARMADA beats Qualcomm Snapdragon, NVIDIA Tegra and Samsung/Apple […]

  9. […] despite High expectations on Marvell’s opportunities with China Mobile [May 28, 2011] as well as Marvell to capitalize on BRIC market with the Moby tablet [Feb 3, […]

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