Intel is late to the tablet game and it admits to that fact, but has set bold targets for 2014 as it seeks to catch up to market leader, ARM.
Earlier this year, Intel said it wants to see 40 million Intel-based tablets shipped across both consumer and commercial markets. It's a message multiple executives emphasised and reiterated at the Intel Solutions Summit 2014 in Singapore this week.
According to Intel worldwide reseller channel organisation vice-president, Maurits Tichelman, a third of these will be sold through the channel.
"In 2013, we only had three tablets for the channel," Tichelman said. "We knew we were late. At the end of 2013 we were offering more than 65 different white box tablets to partners."
Intel currently works with about 25 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ; excluding China).
Tichelman said the company is looking at 500 to 750 brand opportunities in order to provide enough choice for the channel to differentiate itself, as well as offering greater options on the consumer retail level.
And while the business-to-business (B2B) tablet market is not as evolved as the consumer space, Intel APJ regional sales organisation director, Philip Cronin, said it will evolve very quickly.
"There aren't as many business tablets being used within business environments, but this will evolve when once the capability of a PC enter the tablet environment," he said.
"When I talk to business leaders, it is typically about line of business first. The back of 2014 and into 2015 will be a B2B story. Then Intel will have the right technology, ideas, and types of products."
Cronin said that Windows 8.1-based tablets will drive the adoption of tablets within the enterprise.
The value-add tale
While "adding value" often resembles a cliche in the current state of the channel - Cronin calls it a "broad sweep" - margins lie at the end of it.
Cronin said value has to be differentiated, and added that the Australian and New Zealand (A/NZ) channel has always delivered well, whether it was moving through server, PC, and so on.
At the same time, though, Cronin claims tablet-related B2B propositions often resemble a case of "me too" at present, and urges the channel to "figure out what to do different" to make Intel versus ARM more than just a choice, but admits it can be difficult to do.
In the education space, it is about customising to each customer scenario through specific devices built specifically for education and the customer's environment. Enterprise players will have to focus on commercial-grade tablets which can deliver many of the capabilities of notebooks running Windows 8.1. On the medium-sized front, resellers are tasked with working the adoption of the consumer device into the client's business.
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