The price of tablets is expected to drop in 2012, as competition in the marketplace continues to grow.
The average price of a 10.1-inch tablet is predicted to drop to between $300 and $400 next year, with 7-inch incarnations selling anywhere from $200 to $250, according to Digitimes Research.
Apple’s iPad arguably launched the tablet market in 2010, with the least-expensive model selling for $500. Since the incredible success of Apple’s device, several companies have thrown their hats in the tablet ring but have struggled to measure up. Motorola’s Xoom, HP’s TouchPad and the BlackBerry PlayBook all entered the market at prices similar to the iPad and failed to achieve the same level of success.
Xoom and PlayBook prices have dropped since their initial release, and HP has discontinued the TouchPad. However, in the last days of its life the TouchPad may have hinted at the key to success against the iPad. HP initiated a fire sale of the device, pricing the 16-gigabyte model of the TouchPad at $100 and creating a frenzy of demand as consumers flooded local retailers to pick up the tablet.
Since the TouchPad began flying off store shelves at its end-of-life price, analysts have speculated that one-upping Apple on price may be the best way to dip into its sales. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is expected to take at least a portion of the iPad’s business this holiday season because of its $200 price point, and Barnes & Noble has now followed suit with its new Nook tablet, which will retail for $250.
Digitimes speculates the Fire could even drop as low as $150 next year, in an attempt to appeal to even more of a market that may be priced out of more expensive offerings.
The tablet market is still less than two years old, and as it continues to mature, prices will likely continue to fall as more users drift to the “post-pc” world.