Monday, August 22, 2011

Tablet: Is the $499 the New $999?

Apple has no Mac for sale below the $999 price.  Previously, it was the white polycarbonate Macbook and now it's the 11.6" Macbook Air.  And during the short lived era of the netbooks, analysts and a few a pundits argued that Apple has to sell some netbook like device below the $999 price.  Apple responded that they could not make a $500 laptop that was no a piece of junk. That was a couple of years ago.

Fast forward to today.  the iPad and other Android tablets like the Xoom and Galaxy Tab start around $500 when they went on sale.  However, as Apple went from the iPad to iPad 2, some tablets have begun to be priced lower.  Let's forget about the Touchpad.  Xoom (currently $489 at Buy.com) is sometimes be yours for $400.  The Asus Transformer is consistently at $386 at Buy.com and had gone down to around $350 at times.

I also figure that by Black Friday, many tablets could drop as low as $300 on a consistent basis - especially as competition among Android tablets heat up.  Furthermore, the 10" versions will also feel pricing pressure from their 7" brethren starting out around $300 from Chinese makers.

With Apple probably holding the iPad starting at $500, I wonder if $300 to $350 for tablets will be the equivalent of $500 is for PC laptops.


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