Tablet makers need to drop their prices in order to increase market share, say analyst firm Forrester. But is having a 'race to the bottom' the answer?
Not only is price an issue, but Forrester also believes that tablet OEMs need to develop better business and content apps for their devices, and that content providers need to focus on optimizing content for the various browsers rather than create apps for the various platforms.
While the idea that if OEMs drop the price of tablets, they'll sell more units sounds like it makes sense, cutting margins is not necessarily a good thing for the long term viability of tablets as a whole. We saw OEMs aggressively cut the prices of netbooks to the point where profit margins became razor thin, but this hasn't helped netbooks in the long run.
Another factor to bear in mind is that competing on price has never been an effective weapon again Apple. There are countless media player that are cheaper than the iPod (no matter which iPod you're talking about), and yet the iPod is dominant. There are plenty of smartphones that are cheaper than the iPhone, yet the iPhone is a huge powerhouse.
Price is only part of the equation. While I agree that some OEMs have priced their tablet offerings out of the market, I'd like to see OEMs start thinking outside of the box and start innovating rather than ham-fistedly copying whatever Apple seems to be doing. There's only one iPad ... the iPad. What I want to see from OEMs such as Samsung, Motorola, HP and so on is innovation, both in terms of the hardware and the software. There's plenty of room in the market for the OEMs to differentiate their products from the competition ... it just takes a little effort!
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