Following China-based application processor (AP) supplier Rockchip’s entry into the Chromebook industry, China-based end device makers are also expected to join the Chromebook supply chain, according to information Digitimes Research has collected from the Greater China supply chain.
China-based Bitland and BYD will start producing Chromebooks for brand vendors in 2015 and they will be among only a handful of makers capable of making the device.
Digitimes Research believes Google’s recruitment of Rockchip into the Chromebook camp is meant to expand the the device’s supply chain.
Currently, most non-Samsung Chromebooks available in the market are produced by Quanta Computer, while Compal Electronics has a small amount of orders from Acer and Lenovo. Samsung Electronics manufactures its Chromebooks in house.
In 2015, Google is looking to relax the entry barriers to its Chromebook supply chain by expanding its partnerships with chipmakers and manufacturers. Bitland and BYD are both expected to enter the Chromebook supply chain because of Rockchip. Lenovo is also expected to launch products using their platforms
Lenovo has been outsourcing a small volume of notebook orders to Bitland for a long time and the maker is also a major ODM partner of Lenovo’s motherboards and has even established plants in Hefei, China, specifically for the vendor.
BYD, which has been operating in the notebook manufacturing industry for many years, has a tight relationship with Rockchip. Although BYD used to make tablets for Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Toshiba, these products’ shipments were mostly weaker than expected because of unstable product development.
For non-China-based firms, Digitimes Research believes that apart from Acer and Samsung, other brand vendors will also see their Chromebook shipments gradually pick up. While Chromebook manufacturing currently relies heavily on Quanta, the supply chain will see changes. But the changes may not occur until 2016.