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The future of the US$200 tablet

JR Raphael | April 27, 2012
The low-end, under-$200 tablet market is on the brink of a transformation -- and that means you'll soon be able to get a lot more value for a lot less money.

For makers of existing budget tablets, that may mean being forced to drop even lower in price in order to stay relevant. The logic is simple: If you can buy a quad-core tablet with an impressive display and full Google services for $150 to $200, why would you pay the same cash for a second-rate alternative?

"Wherever the ceiling is set for these new tablets, the budget manufacturers will aim for a yet lower-cost version of that," IHS iSuppli's Rhoda Alexander predicts. "They're playing in a different ballpark and will continue to fill a niche within the market."

And let's not forget: Android manufacturers may not be the only players looking to cash in on lower-priced tablets. The always-present rumors of a 7- to 8-in. Apple iPad are picking up steam, with many predicting the advent of a $300 "iPad Mini" before the end of the year.

One thing's for sure: As more companies move into lower-priced territory and duke it out for market share, it's the customers who will reap the rewards. After all, in a world where the same dollar seems to buy less with each passing year, getting a better tablet for a lower price is something anyone can appreciate.


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