It's too late for the late-comers to try to redefine tablet pricing

Insanity seems to have gripped tablet makers, with the latest batch of 'Honeycomb' Android tablets being prices at an eye-watering +$1,000.

Insanity seems to have gripped tablet makers, with the latest batch of 'Honeycomb' Android tablets being prices at an eye-watering +$1,000.

It's rumored that Motorola XOOM will retail for a staggering $1,199, while LG is pricing the Optimus tablet in Europe at €999 ($1,350 inc sales tax of 20%, making the tablet a shade over $1,000).

Ummm, it's too late for the late-comers to the tablet market to start trying to redefine price. Sure, these devices feature a dual-core processor, but the PC market proved that consumers didn't care about cores or megahertz/gigahertz. Consumers focused to an array of price points. Apple defined the tablet market within the $499 to $829 price band, and trying to go outside of this envelope (even with better hardware than a year-old iPad) is suicide for a device. In fact, this enthusiasm with stratospheric price tags could be suicide for the budding Android tablet market.

Motorola and LG had their chance (like everyone else) to define the tablet market and set price points, but it failed to take advantage of the opportunity, leaving the market wide open for Apple define it.

So, Motorola and LG, good luck with those tablets ... you'll need it!

[UPDATE: My ZDNet blogging colleague James Kendrick agrees with me:

"Is the problem that vendors are cramming too many high-cost components (or features) in tablets to try to stand out? If so that is a strategy doomed to failure, as it prices the device out of the range consumers will be willing to pay."

The market's already been defined. OEMs need to roll with this to survive.]

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