Analyst: Apple Has Opportunity to Revive Tablet Computer Market

Apple will be hosting a special media event on January 27 where the company is expected to introduce a new tablet computer device. What Apple reveals could be key in breathing new life into the tablet computer market, according to UBS analyst Maynard Um.

"An Apple Tablet rollout being expected, key will be timing and price points, in order to asses how material it could be for suppliers," Mr. Um said. "In addition, how convincing the device will be could generate debate as per whether the tablet device category could be revived and help overall demand."

If Apple does introduce a tablet computer and it sells well, the company's suppliers stand to win, too. "Our checks suggest that Hon Hai might manufacture the Tablet for Apple. We believe the display will likely come from LG Display, although AUO could be a second source," Mr. Um said. "We believe Chen Uei and Hon Hai cold be connector suppliers; Wintek, Sintek and TPK touch suppliers; Simplo and Dynapack battery suppliers."

He expects the processor running Apple's tablet will be designed by PA Semi and manufactured by Samsung, and that wireless connectivity support will come from Broadcom chips.

Hopeful shoppers expecting to pick up an Apple tablet as soon as it is announced, however, may be in for a disappointment. According to Mr. Um, the device won't be available immediately, but should ship some time in the first half of 2010.

Apple is currently trading at US$212.98, down 2.06 (-0.96%).