Dear tablet vendors: if you can't announce a price with your tablet, you're dead to us

Summary:A few PR weenies will decide to try and pull a fast one, figuring that an announcement of a device without price might fuel some buzz. But you're not going to fool us.

A few moments ago, I read an article that proclaimed, CES 2013: AMD-powered Vizio Tablet PC runs Windows 8 . I've generally been intrigued by Vizio's product, so I clicked in.

Sadly, the article ended by stating that there was no price or availability information about the product.

So, let's set the record straight, shall we?

We in the press, and we consumers, are fully aware that vendors are going to be introducing tablets in such quantities that they will all blur together. Everyone has read the numbers and knows the consumer PC business has been decimated by iOS and Android.

We also know that all you vendors are going to do what you do best: introduce commodity products that are barely distinguishable from each other, yet work well enough to get the job done.

With CES this week, you're all likely to jump on the tablet bandwagon. No surprise.

We even know what most of you will be offering. It will either be Android-based or Windows-ish based. You'll be introducing something in the 7-inch range and/or the 10-inch range. It'll have yada-yada battery life, yada-yada screen resolution, and some completely uninteresting memory statistic.

A few of you might showcase something that has some pretty industrial design. A few might decide to go wild and offer electromagnetic induction charging. And, give-or-take a few ounces, your tablet will weigh just about the same as everyone else's.

So where will the difference be? Simple: price.

A full Windows 8 tablet at $199 or $299 is news. One at $599, $699, or $999 or above isn't. Most of you will not introduce products under $500, which means your products will only be bought by some business or another who goes through the slow, boring purchasing process.

In other words, your product will fade into obscurity along with all those generic (but fully useful) PCs out there. Your product will simply have no news value.

Many of you employ seasoned PR professionals, who know this sad fact of life. A few PR weenies will decide to try and pull a fast one, figuring that an announcement of a device without price might fuel some buzz -- before the inevitable disappointment sets in once the sad reality becomes once again apparent. But you're not going to fool us.

If we're bored or we don't have anything else to write about for that hour, we might even give you a few paragraphs of virtual ink. But no one -- no one -- will remember it.

Like I said, you'll be dead to us.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Windows 8

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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