Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tablet Computers: Pricing Is Key

Any minute now, Apple will intro its newest iPad, amid much fanfare and anticipation. But Apple isn't the only firm pushing tablet computers.

HTC--the company behind many Android-powered smartphones--is targeting the tablet market with a new product called the Flyer, which features a stylus for input.

With the tablet on the verge of becoming a mature product and new entries proliferating, price is increasingly important to capturing customers new to the category and attracting current users ready to trade up. In fact, a Boston Consulting Group study notes that tablet prices will have to fall further for the product to become truly a mass-market item.

So a price war may actually be on the way, boosting industry volume and putting tablets in the hands of people who otherwise might have purchased a netbook or a new smartphone. Interestingly, an Economist article from last fall found that iPad prices vary from country to country. This suggests pricing latitude and the potential for country-by-country price competition as more tablets come to market.

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