As tablet competition heats up, prices drop
For the last year and a half, many analysts have said that the best way to challenge Apple's lead in the tablet market would be to introduce new devices that undercut the iPad's $499 price tag. That advice has evidently not fallen on deaf ears, as 2011 has seen the launch of several sub-$499 tablet computers.
According to mobile news provider Mobiledia, the increased competition in the tablet market is leading to further price drops. Citing figures from technology industry news source DigiTimes, Mobiledia predicts the average price of a 10.1-inch tablet will hover between $300 and $400 in 2012. Meanwhile, 7-inch devices will generally cost between $200 and $250.
In the early days of the tablet, some manufacturers tried the opposite approach, offering more expensive devices that featured different capabilities than the iPad®. However, after these tablets struggled in the market, many manufacturers have made pricing adjustments in an attempt to attract a wider audience.
Analyst firm Juniper Research estimates that more than 55 million tablets will ship in 2011. As tablet prices continue to drop, however, shipments are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.