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Summary

This year's Black Friday's price drops seem indicate very well where the market is going. While there are very sweet deals on select items that are exceptions, the majority of offerings represent substantial price-cuts that manufacturers will have to undertake to keep going forward.

Next year, the prices of mainstream Google Android-based media tablets will drop to the range between $199 to $499 depending on the screen size and capabilities. Given Apple's dominance on this market, it remains to be seen whether the company will attempt to further increase popularity of iPad by slashing prices a bit. E-book readers will follow tablets and will most likely cost starting from $49 next year.

Game consoles that are available today will also likely drop in pricing towards the middle of the year. The competition between Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft is intensifying as life-to-date sales of PlayStation 3 are approaching LTDs of Xbox 360, therefore Microsoft may cut prices on the Xbox 360 shortly after the holiday season. Besides, both Microsoft and Sony will have to fight Nintendo Wii U in the second half of 2012 and price reductions are an instrument in such fight.

Blu-ray disc players and stereo-3D TVs that are on sale during Black Friday will not lose their usual price tags shortly, but the general trend is very clear: both are heading mainstream, therefore gradual decrease of prices is fully expected.

Manufacturers are not really enthusiastic about ultra low-cost personal computers and therefore such systems are evolving slowly. On Black Friday there is a chance to get a very affordable ultra-portable 11.6" notebook or full-size 15.6" laptop for less than $200, but do not expect such systems to become widespread outside of Thanksgiving weekend or Cyber Monday.

Even though it is not easy to predict the prices of hard disk drives for the next several months, it is clear that the best time to get affordable drives is to get them on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. By contrast, consumer SSDs are on-track to cost $1 per GB next year and it is a matter of several months before Black Friday's SSD prices will become regular.

 
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