Android tablets undercutting iPad prices

Entry-level Android tablets are bidding for buyers with prices lower than Apple's iPad

In an effort to attract buyers away from Apple's iPad, device makers are setting starting prices of Android tablets to undercut iPad's US$499 entry-level price.

The starting prices for tablets with 10.1-inch screens from ViewSonic, Asustek and Acer range from $279 to $449. The tablets run different versions of Google's Android OS, include 10.1-inch displays, run on dual-core ARM processors and are Flash-capable.

Apple first shipped the iPad in April last year, and set the tone for the market with its aggressive starting price. The first Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab that starting shipping later in the year were overpriced, and the low pricing of new tablets could be a market correction, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

A ViewSonic GTablet, originally priced at $499, is now available on Amazon.com for $279.99. Acer's Iconia A500 Tab is priced starting at $449 and will ship later this month. The starting price for Asus' upcoming Eee Pad Transformer was listed at $399.99 on Best Buy's website, but the page has now been removed.

According to an IDC survey, 10.1 million media tablets shipped during the fourth quarter of 2010, of which Apple's iPad had a 73 percent market share. In second place was Samsung's Galaxy Tab, with 17 percent market share, while "regional players" captured the rest of the market.

Apple dominates the tablet market because of iPad's aggressive pricing, design and features, Kay said. By comparison, high prices and lack of a cohesive software stack have made Android tablets relatively less attractive to buyers.

"The Android system lacks the total ecosystem and unification that Apple has," Kay said.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which comes with a 7-inch screen, originally went on sale late last year through Verizon starting at $600 without a contract and was considered overpriced. Earlier this month, Verizon cut the starting price of Galaxy Tab to $500.

But not all Android tablet vendors have changed their pricing strategy. Motorola continues to offer its Xoom tablet from $599. Buyers can acquire Android tablets from wireless carriers for low prices, but typically have to sign a two-year mobile service agreement.

Buyers typically have a short attention span and could reconsider feature-rich Android tablets at lower prices, Kay said. But it remains to be seen if Android tablets will shake the iPad's market dominance.

Apple in March started shipping the iPad 2. There is currently a two- to three-week waiting period for iPad 2 online orders.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applehardware systemstablet PCslaptopsAsustek Computeracerviewsonic

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?