Thursday, July 28, 2011

We need the "Cheap" tablet

The Smartphone is a hand held device, the laptop despite its name is best use on a table. In between these two, you have the tablet, which actually is best suited for use on a lap or a table. Phone Arena citing a survey conducted by Retrevo (presumably of non-tablet owners) where 79% said they would buy a tablet if it cost just US$250. At US$300, the number who said they would buy a tablet dropped to 48%. At US$400, the number dropped to just 31%. The Apple iPad 2 starts at US$499. Modern dual core Android tablets start at over US$400, however the Asus Eee Pad Transformer does start at US$399.


This got me thinking about Google's tablet strategy. It Android phones range from low end devices that compete with pretty much any smartphone in the market to devices intended to compete with Apple's iPhone. When Google did not support Android 2.x for the tablet (like Samsung's Galaxy Tab) and came out with Android 3.x Honeycomb for tablets, it made tablets that would compete with the Apple's iPad. 

The Phone Arena survey seems to indicate there is a fairly large market for lower end tablets. Devices with a 1GHz processor of 512MB of RAM (basically cutting edge 2009) technology could be used to build cheap tablets, but without Google support, there will be no developer support either.

While Phone Arena cautions that it only has 1,000 respondents, I do agree with their findings. A tablet will not replace my smartphone nor my personal computer, well at least not until I retire from lawyering, blogging and posting thing like this in Google+. I would not need it to do everything my smarthpone does, and I do not expect it to be as high powered as my personal computer. I am not a hardcore gamer, and 720p is sufficient for me, I don't really need 1080p.     

Looking down the road, in a few months time, Tegra 2 tablets will be fairly inexpensive, and while Android device manufacturers and Apple's iPad will probably move into the quad core arena, the Android tablet may finally take off with what will be by than cheap Honeycomb's. 

This was originally posted in Google+.

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