Apple's iPad is the best in the industry when it comes to minimising the cost of hardware components for devices, according to a report from IHS iSuppli.
Wayne Lam, senior analyst for competitive analysis at the research firm, told V3 that Apple's vertical integration with iOS software and iPad hardware makes the most out of the hardware components in each device at minimal cost.
Unlike competing tablets, which rely on third-party software such as the Android platform, Apple is able to fine-tune the software for the strengths and limitations of the iPad.
As a result, Apple appears to have an advantage over competitors when it comes to design efficiency and cost of production. Other tablets, meanwhile, are still focused on adding hardware specifications to win over customers.
"One thing they need to do is invest in usability and optimise the software with the hardware," Lam said of competing devices.
"Currently there does not seem to be a concern on reducing overall costs because they are just chasing market share."
As the tablet market develops in the coming years, Lam believes that vendors will begin to follow Apple's lead in shifting focus away from hardware specifications and towards areas such as efficiency and the user interface.
"It is a market in flux right now," the analyst explained. "Once it matures you will see these manufacturers concentrate on squeezing out costs."
As that transition occurs, some vendors could be uniquely positioned to take advantage of their other businesses to keep costs down.
Lam noted that Samsung in particular has been able to use its flash memory business to create a unique platform that drops the overall cost of memory chips in its tablets.
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