January 2, 2012
Tablet Makers Slashing Prices To Maintain Market Share
Gadget makers have apparently left the top-tier tablet market for Apple to exploit with its iPad offerings while most other companies begin dropping prices in hopes of gaining market traction in an ever-widening field of players.
Sony´s S series of tablets, operating with an Android operating system, has had $100 knocked off of its price with the 16GB Tablet S now priced at $400, reduced from $500, while the 32GB model was trimmed to $500 from $600, Brooke Crothers reports for CNET.
This latest price reduction, Dana Wollman reports from Engadget, follows a temporary $50 price cut announced on December 15th that Sony claimed said would last through the end of the year. So, the fact that Sony has lowered the price yet another fifty bucks, and permanently, can´t bode well for sell-through figures.
Sony is also sweetening the deal by offering five free movie rentals through its Video Unlimited service, five free PlayStation Store downloads and a 180 day trial membership to Music Unlimited, to better showcase the Tablet S gaming and multimedia chops.
Sony is attempting to integrate its mobile offerings into its so-called “four screen” strategy for 2012, hoping to integrate between phone, tablet, computer and TV, but that functionality was still relatively basic, reports Chris Davies for Slashgear.
Beleaguered RIM, creator of the Blackberry line of products is struggling to remain afloat and its latest strategy is to slash prices as well. RIM´s tablet offering, BlackBerry Playbook, is a recent example of tablet price deflation. The PlayBook has been selling--depending on the week, for up to $300 off its original price.
Consumer-grade 10-inch Android tablets such as the 16GB Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet (Wi-Fi only) and 16GB Acer Iconia (Wi-Fi) are priced competitively from the gate, listed at $319.99 and $359.99, respectively at Best Buy.
The 16GB Toshiba Thrive (Wi-Fi) and the 16GB Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Wi-Fi) are both $400.
These lowered prices for 10-inch tablets are bumping into the prices for the 7-inch models such as offerings from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which have strong 7-inch products for $199 and $249, respectively. The Kindle Fire, in particular, is seeing very strong demand with generally well-received reviews.
Apple´s iPad however is maintaining its lofty prices with lofty demand. With prices ranging from $499 to $829, Apple still sells over ten million tablets per quarter.
Verizon however is still looking at the high-end of gadget prices to with its just released Motorola XyBoard priced between $529.99 and $729.99 with a two-year contract (and as much as $899.99 without a contract).
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