When Hewlett-Packard dropped the price of its discontinued TouchPad tablets to Rs.4950/-, they sold out almost immediately. Now Amazon.com, Lenovo and others could change the price point for competitors to Apple’s iPad, and thus the dynamics in this category.
Lenovo, Samsung, Amazon
Lenovo just announced its IdeaPad Tablet A1, an Android 2.3, Gingerbread, model with a seven-inch, 1024×600 display, 8GB of storage , and Wi-Fi priced at Rs. 9950/-. It features front and back cameras and a single-core processor. The 16GB IdeaPad will run Rs.12450/-, and the 32GB Rs. 14,950/-.
Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab is now available for Rs. 13950/-. This week, Samsung introduced a successor, the Tab 7.7, with a slightly larger Super AMOLED Plus display. HP has also recently said it will manufacture another round of the suddenly popular, low-priced TouchPad.
But the big gorilla in this emerging round of lower-priced tablets is Amazon. The giant retailer is already doing well with its Kindle e-book reader, which can be seen as a close cousin to tablets. Barnes & Noble’s seven-inch nook color e-reader, priced at Rs.12450/-, also has some tablet functions, such as email and browsing.
Many industry observers expect Amazon to release one or more low-cost tablets by the end of the year, possibly at a loss so it can make money on providing content — as it has with the Kindle. According to Forrester Research, an Amazon tablet could sell three million to five million units in the fourth quarter, which would catapult it into the key competitor to the iPad.