Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

Summary: The Motorola Xoom will be coming on 24 February for $599 with a 2-year contract or $799 with no contract. I think anything over $500 is just too much for these iPad competitors, don't you?

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Today, we heard confirmation that the Motorola Xoom subsidized price will be $599 with a 2-year contract while the unsubsidized price will be $799. I tried to justify this in my mind and if you compare the Xoom with the comparably speced Apple iPad, the pricing really is not that unreasonable. However, it is clear to me now that no Android tablets can really compete on a large scale if they are priced at more than the $500 lowest cost iPad.

While those who read this blog will likely know the difference in specifications and operating systems, I think most consumers will just look at the experience and the price to make their tablet purchase decisions. The iPad has a huge collection of available applications and a marketing program unlike any other. Consumers likely won't care too much if there is a 32GB iPad available for $599 or a 64GB model for $699 and sales data shows the majority purchase the $499 16GB WiFi iPad. I also doubt too many consumers care about having cellular data connectivity on a large tablet since these devices primarily serve as mobile computers in the house or as media machines while traveling. I find my 3G Samsung Galaxy Tab to be extremely useful on the go, but it has a small 7 inch display and I am a mobile gadget geek.

As Kevin and I recently talked about on MobileTechRoundup show #232, nearly all of these new Android tablets are trying to compete with the 10 inch Apple iPad and so far have not been able to come in at a low enough price. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch Android tablet has reportedly done quite well and I am a bit mystified why we are not seeing more tablets of this size. It may turn out that all of these larger tablets keep trying compete with the iPad and then Apple rolls out a 7 inch iPad to further own the tablet space. Then maybe they will turn and roll out 7 inch models.

HTC recently announced a 7 inch HTC Flyer Android tablet, but there is not yet any pricing information and it really needs to come in around $400 to compete. RIM's PlayBook is a 7 inch tablet and may do well with BlackBerry owners, but is limited to those who use a BlackBerry. I am still surprised HP did not announce a 7 inch webOS device, but maybe they will eventually. As a person who owned an iPad and switched to a Samsung Galaxy Tab, IMHO 7 inches is the sweet spot for those looking for a mobile tablet. I do think the 10 inch models are attractive as a laptop replacement or home couch browsing device. But again, the price needs to be down in the $500 level.

Do you think any Android tablet can compete at a price more than $500?

Topics: Tablets, Android, Apple, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

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127 comments
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  • Seriously Matt? You are brimming with optimism. iPad?

    Now if you'd just sit still for a few minutes, technology will change.

    Wait...what was that? That was the popping noise of yet another Android Tablet being born.

    Brought to you by Linux
    Choice: It's a good thing.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • I agree and I choose not to use it.

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate For years I've supported computer systems. Repair/support etc. I choose not to take my work home with me so I use Apple products as a rule. Do own an XBox 360 and sometimes there is the occasional product that does work better form me than an Apple product but not often. I make my green supporting and repairing computers. I spend my green usually on an Apple product cause I so do not want to take my work home with me. End of story.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn [i]I spend my green usually on an Apple product cause I so do not want to take my work home with me. End of story.[/i]

        What does owning Apple products have to do with not taking your work home with you? I mean, I'm glad you like Apple products... but how does owning a Linux, or Windows, or Apple product prevent you from or cause you to take your work home?
        Badgered
      • Badgered, he's trying to claim that

        since he works on [i]Windows[/i] PC all day fixing them, he buys Apple at home because he doesn't have to work on them because they never break.

        Sure, It's all a load of BS, as I have to work on Apple computers during the day so I I have first hand knowledge that he's making it all up.

        But if he thinks everyone believes him, then he will be happy.
        Will Farrell
      • Fair question....

        @Badgered
        In my close to 30 years in Tech I've found that Apple takes less effort to use and or support. So to take a MS system or product home would mean more effort on my part to keep it working or to make use of it. Same it would seem with Linux or Google. Sure when I was young and learning struggling and learning day in and day out was sort of fun even exciting. But after a few decades it got old. I don't want to learn how to use something I just want to make use of it. When I install an application I don't want to worry about spyware or malware. I don't want to tech out a problem that my system seems to have developed after installing a few packages onto my device. I just want to use it and do as little tech support on my stuff as possible. Granted Apple is not perfect in this regard but in my experience if I go with Apple my chances are far better than with any other product I've dealt with over the years and this proves to be true time and time again. Walled garden? Maybe but it's a comfy one;)

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Willy made no such claim...

        @Will Farrell
        Just read my response to him and see for yourself... Silly. As I clearly stated Apple is not perfect and it's merely a percentage game. I've found in my own experience that my odds of doing work either repair or tech support are much lower on an Apple product than on others. Do Apple products fail? Yes... Can they have tech problem? You bet but on the whole they are to my experience better.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn

        No, choosing Apple isn't really a choice. You only can have a choice if you don't buy Apple.

        I think that's what he's saying.
        msalzberg
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn do your saying that apple products never ever break or have issues... yea nice troll. If you do nothing on your computer then you won't have many issues. If you think Linux breaks more then MAC OS then u have another thing coming. Windows mouth have issues from time to time, but if you are not an idiot those issues will never affect you. Personally I would never let my computer be repaired by someone who has an apple computer or only really buys apple products.
        Jimster480
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn your just a sad little fanboy liar. Nobody ignores the fact that Android is just as stable as iOS and easier to modify to their liking. Also did I mention it just works too?

        I'd happily pay MORE for an Android tablet than an iPad because I KNOW it won't come crippled.
        blueskip
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn - This is often said, but most often totally misworded and therefore totally misguiding:
        "sometimes there is the occasional product that does work better form me than an Apple product but not often."

        The truth is - you are using an Apple (or _______) product, and it got the job done for you. You don't know if another product would have gotten that job done for you better or not - because you aren't going to pull out another system and re-do the same work! And it would be a display of inefficiency worthy of dismissal to maintain two separate systems to perform the same job in a professional environment - if for no other reason than the loss of efficiencies that you'd gain developing familiarities and shortcuts within any given environment... but there is the cost involved as well. Not to mention, any company is going to have policies for purchase that strive to maintain a narrow, excellent knowledge on a particular platform, maximizing the benefit of the IT and TI associates who maintain those environments.

        That doesn't make that system "better", just as your personal efficiency within a familiar environment doesn't make the unfamiliar environment "worse".

        But you expose and discredit yourself when you say things like "___ sometimes does ____ job better than ____, but not often". Not only are you generalizing to a manufacturer-level which smacks of 'fanboy' no matter the context, but you are making a comparison that can't actually be made in a professional (key word) world. That's an indepdendent, basement-playroom statement that can't exist in an organization of professionals - or a professional who services organizations.
        Halloween can exist more frequently than October 30th, but not every day. Not even on the internet.
        geolemon
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn
        LOL. Incredible, you are just describing what I am starting to become! ;)
        WillCroPoint
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @James Quinn interesting, that is how I make my money too but I am smart enough not to tuck up my home system so what the hell are you doing to your windows boxes? Maybe you should leave this computer stuff to the pros huh?
        slickjim
    • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      What? Sorry, Android brings little change. It's quite literally a mess of an ecosystem.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 its far from a mess. It works fine and its great overall. Especially if you have a high end android device then issues are basically non-existent.
        Jimster480
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 bawahahahahahahahaha!!!! You wish! Sowwy but I happen to wuv my Android devices! You funny!
        blueskip
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 two sentences that demonstrate ignorance - "I hope no one asks me to clarify!"

        There's a stronger case to be made for iOS being "a mess of an ecosystem". Apple's recent subscription policy being no exception, as that's where all users get their apps.

        But more fundamentally - have you tried running iOS4 on a 3G-or-below iPhone? It's a miserable experience. By contrast, each subsequent Android OS version has brought performance improvements - I'm running 2.2 on a first-gen Android device (a G1) and it runs better/faster/smoother than 1.5 ran on it. By sharp contrast, if you try to replace iOS3 with iOS4 on a device as recent as a 3G, it's a miserable, laggy experience with notable degradation in performance compared to iOS3.

        And fundamentally also - little change? iOS has been so iterative, it's been surpassed. There's no desktops, no widgets, no configurability to support your personal use (whether that's personal or professional). Your "desktop" is the equivalent of the master App Drawer in Android. Like the junk drawer in your kitchen... you hide that, not expose it.
        There's not even a notification area in iOS - just disturbing pop-ups that you dismiss forever.
        And Android has advanced significantly, introducing real improvements in features and the market system itself.

        It is iOS that iterates and "brings little change".
        And that's exactly why it is being surpassed, with little growth (for the past year!), where once it was 'the reference standard'. Now, it is just 'standard'.

        That's the thing about progress and time - it moves on.
        Empty sentences like yours shows you haven't kept up.
        geolemon
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @Jimster480
        I think he was referring to the versions, the manu's are in charge up updates, etc. That mess, and yes it's a mess.
        ItsTheBottomLine
    • Linux, the expensive version.

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      With built in Motorola and Verizon taxes everywhere.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Any tablet over $500 just can't compete with the Apple iPad

        @Bruizer kind of like the Apple Tax!
        slickjim
    • iPad brought to you by Unix; at least no worse than Linux

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
      DDERSSS