by Anton Shilov
03/15/2011 | 07:20 PM
UPDATE: Adding second source for the information.
One of the most intriguing things about media tablets that will compete against Apple iPad in the second half of the year are the price-points that they will arrive at and whether they will be more affordable than the iPad. According to a leaked price-list from a "major U.S. retailer", all of the entry-level models will be priced comparably the iPad 16GB.
The majority of 10" tablets from large companies, such as Acer, Dell, HP, HTC and Toshiba, will be available in June, according to a price-list from a "major U.S. retailer" that was posted by PreCentral web-site. Their cost will vary from $449 to $499, which is either the price of the Apple iPad 2 16GB or a tad lower. HP will also launch the TouchPad 7" in September, according to the posting.
DroidLife web-site has also posted the same flyer and even revealed the name of the retail chain, which appears to be Staples. Two separate sources for the information may be an indicator that it is correct.
Naturally, no companies have commented on the information and they may also reconsider pricing. However, if the prices are even partly correct, then it is clear that the companies in general are not looking forward to offer any huge price advantages over Apple's slate at least initially. As a result, they will have to offer better functionality, performance and other advantages. For example, Motorola Xoom 10" (which is available now for $599 or $799 and not for $649 as the flyer mentions) provides 1280x800 screen resolution, SD card reader, 3-axis accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, barometer, high-quality cameras and so on.
It is known that Apple sells its iPad at lower profit margin than it does with all of its other devices. That said, it may be hard for other companies to offer price-points comparable to the least expensive iPad 16GB or offer tangibly better performance or functionality at the same price-point.