Feeds

Hard-up fondlers rejoice: Tablet PC prices plummet

Analyst: 'If you aren't an iPad, you'd better be cheap'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Good news for would-be tablet owners without a pile of cash to spend: prices have dived 13.6 per cent in the past year – if you don't count the iPad. Apple's tablet came down in price too, but only by 3.45 per cent.

And that's because being cheap is the best way to get noticed for non-Apple tablets, says IMS market analyst Gerry Xu:

There are few innovations from vendors to differentiate their tablets; low price seems to be the major factor to attract consumers to buy tablets other than iPads.

iPad still has 70 per cent of the market, Q2 sales figures showed, and that share increased last quarter.

The stats were gathered by Idealo, a Euro price comparison website that surveyed the prices of 1,200 tablet products from 149 manufacturers found on its site. Idealo averaged out the price of a given product across different outlets, using its "click data" to work out which places consumers were buying from. That makes its price averages reflect more accurately what is actually being bought.

Looking only at price changes in 2012, the spring price fall is even more marked. Archos tablets saw the biggest price dives: the average price of Archos tablet PCs declined the most from February to June 2012, decreasing by 27.2 per cent. The average prices for Samsung, Asus and Archos dropped 17.5 per cent from €455.02 to €375.37 during this time period, with Apple iPad prices decreasing only 4.5 per cent.

Increased competition from the sheer number of new entrants in the market is one of the reasons that prices have gone down, says Idealo. Another is a post-Christmas price fall hitting between February and March 2012.

Tablet prices graph, credit Idealo

Graph via Idealo

With the launch of the third iPad in March, $100 was knocked off the iPad 2 price tag, causing the slight fall in average Apple fondleslab prices during the past 12 months.

Analyst Salman Chaudry from Context said that the figures were broadly compatible with what he had seen, but proffered a slightly different perspective on the price wars - saying that higher-priced tablets by the likes of Asus and Samsung actually did well.

At the moment in the industry, a number of vendors have made a concerted effort to be more dominant in tablets, because they're going for visibility, not because they're making a profit. These tablets are completely based on average selling price rather than features.

That's why Asus and Samsung are doing a lot better – because they are focusing on features, not price.

Chaudry put the 1,200 product list in perspective, calculating that each product line would have up to a dozen variations in screen size, capacity etc, with each variant being counted as a separate product. He estimated that there were a likely 150 tablet product lines.

He said he had 1,544 different products listed as stocked by disties and resellers in the UK (a figure that includes convertible tablets.)

Even Microsoft seem to be playing the "If you can't be better, be cheaper game" - with rumours from Redmond suggesting a $199 tab. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?