back to article Hard-up fondlers rejoice: Tablet PC prices plummet

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 …

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  1. Dave Bell

    Hidden costs

    I've sometimes thought I should have paid a bit more, got one or two more features, and if I were charging for the time I spent fixing the deficiencies, such as no access to the Google Store, the tablet I have would look pretty expensive.

    But it's no surprise that people are buying cheap, and the HDMI socket on mine does get used. It's more useful to me than Bluetooth.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Extremely flawed

    The stats were compiled using clickthrough guestimates?

    The chart is misleading because the contracted y-axis suggests a disproportionate price difference between Apple and the rest and a weird average: if Apple is selling most devices then the mean should be closer to Apple's price.

    The conclusion is at odds with the other's analysts: Samsung and Asus are picking up market share through higher value products. How long before Apple starts suing Asus?

    Demand for high-end components is keeping prices high. Cheaper tablets are still only possible with lower spec. Apple has the first-mover advantage with a high-quality product. Wannabe's, at any price, have to have to be good enough in the criteria important to buyers, which are sadly missing from the "analysis".

  3. Nanners
    Windows

    You guys are smart

    Soo... If you want to compete with the iPad, you better offer a better value? Who'd a' thunk it?

  4. Big_Ted

    I wonder

    Did the HP touchpad fire sale get into these figures ?

    The drop in price on the Blackberry certainly did.

    So how much of the drop was down just those ? If you add to that the explosion in cheap tablets from China such as the Ainol Elf then of course you will see a big drop in the average price. Google with its Nexus will most likely add to that as well in the next 12 months as others have to compete with it to sale.

  5. h4rm0ny

    Let the $199 Surface RT rumour die.

    Seriously, it was an unsubstantiated rumour from someone who claimed to know someone who had claimed to be at an internal presentation by MS. There's no way it's going to be $199 unless that's some sort of special deal for MS employees or when bought with Visual Studio Premier or something. Even on the original site the rumour came from, it is filled with posts saying there's zero chance of this. But when something is appealing enough to people, some will believe it without any evidence needed at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let the $199 Surface RT rumour die.

      The rumour will die... and so too will the sales of Surface RT devices.

      Priced too high: Nobody (except hardcore Microsoft fans) will buy one.

      Priced too low: Microsoft suffers a loss while praying that people buy Surface in volumes, and in the process piss off OEMs. More harsh words exchanged.

      A rock and a hard place... that's where the Surface price point is.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "1,200 tablet products from 149 manufacturers"

    I bet that's actually more like five different electronics factories each making twenty different tablets for a hundred different brand names each with different uplifts on the production costs and possibly with different logos (and different switch pads on the same PCB).

    E.g. the dozens of different incarnations of the Sumvision Astro and not similar but identical £80 tablets. Sadly I've had two of those, both of which had manufacturing faults. Is that really what I expect for £80?

  7. Markus Wallett
    Thumb Down

    never mind the bollix

    Like smart phones, all these tablet products have similar chipsets, operating systems and looks. When is there going to be some diversity? Of course the answer is never. We're just under the illusion that the market is awash with choice.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      And this is different from PCs how?

      There are only two PC CPU/chipset vendors (Intel and AMD) versus more choice in SoC vendors for tablets (Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm, probably others) There is Windows or OS X as your laptop's OS, versus Android or iOS for tablets. The laptops all look pretty much alike, there's the cheapo traditional laptops, and the Macbook Air wannabe ultrabooks that look the same but are thinner and made of metal.

      What type of diversity are you looking for? You want to see tablets running something other than Android or iOS? I guess you'll get your wish soon from Microsoft. You want to see different form factors? Fine, what exactly? Rectangular with sharp corners? Triangular like the "Pyramid" tablets from the US version of The Office? Round? Thick as a paperback so it weighs four pounds and has a year of standby battery life?

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