Monday, May 6, 2013

The future of the tablet is at US$169

Reading an article about Acer's new Iconia A1, it dawned on me. The future of the tablet is US$169. That just amazed me. A year and a half ago, Amazon, subsidizing its Kindle Fire tablet managed to bring it to the market for US$199. Several months later, a Google subsidized tablet, the Nexus 7 managed to hit the market at US$199. That US$199 price point was viewed as an amazingly low price.

Now, Acer's new offering will start at US$169, and it has decent specifications. The Acer Iconia A1 has a 7.9-inch (768 x 1024) display with a quad core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage expandable via a MicroSD card slot. For an operating system it will run Android 4.2. 

Now this is not a subsidized price. Acer will be selling this tablet for US$169, and will be turning a profit selling it at that price. This release will follow in the heels of the equally inexpensive ASUS Memo Pad and Acer Iconia TAB B1. Tablets from lesser known brands sell for even less. Products like the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt comes it at less than US$100 with a HD display and quad core processor.

At these prices, everyone will buy one, whether they need a tablet or not. For many, in developing countries it will be their first opportunity to buy a computer.  For educational institutions, it will be the most cost efficient way to move into the paperless 21st century, with books and notebooks being replaced by eBooks and Apps. Tablets have gotten so expensive, that even people who primarily need a notebook will find a tablet worthwhile buying as a bedside device.

Simple math says that tablets will sell in more quantities than desktop computers ever have. 

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