I am following all the android tablet releases and announcements closely. Tech blogs are competing against each others in having the first post of a new device as soon as it is spotted somewhere. Unfortunately most people are not aware, that there are many, and I mean really a huge lot of tablet devices get rebranded, presented again, rebranded and presented again on on a tech fair like computex. Most tech bloggers don’t take the necessary time to check if their newly spotted device exists already under another name somewhere.
An example is the Moonse E7001 aka iRobot aka Encipher aka Fujian Sanxi 7 -Inch Android tablet:
On April 11, 2010 tech.qq.com spotted a 7 Inch Android tablet at the CCEF.
Note, that in the background there is a box from Moonse, a chinese company. Also take a close look at the connectors.
Then on April 14, 2010, this tablet was reviewed by the chinese tech blog shanzhaiben.com.
One picture on shanzhaiben.com indicated that it has a Rockhip processor because of the screen background. It has a Android Market place App (right column, third app from top). shanzhaiben.com reported that the Manufacturer was Utopia Technology Co., Ltd. Shenzhen somtimes also called Utopia Tech Shenzhen.
The same day, redferret.net reported that the company Moonse presented a 7 Inch tablet at the CCEF 2010 in Shenzhen in February 2010 as the Moonse E7001 (pictures from redferret.net). This seems to be the same as in the first picture. The specs of the Moonse E7001 include a Rockchip R2808 600Ghz + a 550Mhz graphic decoding unit, a 7 Inch screen and a customized Android 1.5 with the official Marketplace App as you can see on the upper picture. Also have a look at te design and the position of the connectors. Price as reported by shanzai.com: 131$
Then on April 30, 2010 the nigerian company Encipher presented their so called Encipher tablet “The One”, pics from Loy Okezie who was at their presentation. Encipher gave confusing information about the hardware. First Encipher said it has a VIS8505 processor (because there has been a previous version of the iRobot with a VIA8505 processor. Saw many of them on chinese wholesale sites). Now Encipher says it has a Rockhip RK2808 1Ghz (!). I thought the RK2808 has only 600Mhz and a550Mhz DSP as indicated in the official Rockchip RK2808 specs sheet?. Price of the Encipher offering: 399$ (!)
Finally yesterday shanzai.com and other sites reported from the Computex in Tawian, that the company Sanxi Fujian released a 7 Inch tablet with full market support (screenshots from a netbooknews.com video). And, what a surprise, this device has also a Rockchip Rk2808, it has the same UI (see top menu items), even if they say that it is Android 2.1. And it is sold for 105$ to distributors.
So this is just what I wanted to show you. Oftern there are several rebranded versions but always a huge buzz in the tech blog world, sometimes even of the same bloggers who obviously forgot what they had blogged about some weeks ago. I my eyes, that device we now know as the Moonse E7001, the nigerian Encipher tablet and the Sanxi Fujian tablet is manufactured by that mysterious Utopia Tech company in Shenzhen as the review of shanzhaiben.com indicates. Then it undergoes some rebrandings and is sold by various companies and sellers on wholesale sites.
This is not the only case of rebrandings. There are serveral others like:
to be continued…
This is just to show you how the electronics industry works in China. Small companies and offices invent something or create reference designs for chip designers and manufacturers. Then other companies produce them and again others try to sell it under their brand. It’s a very dynamic business. Sometimes options can be added, like the Moonse/Utopia Tech thingy that can come with 3G and 128MB to 512MB RAM.
So tech bloggers ask these people at the booth, where their device comes from…. 😉