GadgetGuy Asks: Will other tablets drop in price for the new iPad?

If you’ve wandered by an Apple store and seen the artwork, products, and huge lines of people, you know that the new iPad is here, upgraded and refreshed for 2012.

A new iPad means that most of last year’s competing tablets are now out of date, especially since these were designed to compete with the Apple iPad 2. This year, Apple has kept the iPad 2 in place and dropped its price¬†significantly, so much that you can find them at Apple for $429 or at resellers for around the $400 mark.

With a cheaper iPad available, manufacturers with competing tablets have to step up their game to win customers over against the juggernaut, and for many, that means dropping the price of tablets across the board.

So what’s happening? Are the major names going to drop some dollars and make a loss for a while, or will they just hope consumers choose their products instead?

Samsung

Probably the biggest competitor Apple has, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was the closest tablet to reach the thickness and build quality seen in the iPad 2. It was such a contender for the iPad throne that Samsung and Apple have been engaged in legal battles to stop it from being released locally since it was unveiled overseas in 2011.

Late last year, Samsung won and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released in Australia. Since then, we’ve seen the excellent Galaxy Tab 7.7 as well as a 4G compatible Galaxy Tab 8.9 make its way out to stores across the country.

A quick glance at Samsung’s current street pricing shows that the 16GB WiFi Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes in at roughly $450 while the 64GB 3G/WiFi model fetches an iPad busting $800. The smaller models on offer from Samsung haven’t been out for very long, and as such, their street values haven’t dropped considerably from the RRPs.

We did ask Samsung if it was going to drop prices in response to Apple, but it specified that its Australian pricing included¬†“localised content offerings, including the full version of the Navigon navigation app with maps on board; the 2012 Good Food Guide app, which is exclusive to Samsung; andany additional local apps that Samsung chooses to release during the life of the product, which are pushed out via Samsung apps on a country by country basis.”

Further, the company stressed that its devices had “been tested for interoperability with the Telstra, Vodafone and Optus networks” and “bears the compliance labelling required by the ACMA to confirm that it meets Australian safety and technical standards, including emergency calling and sound pressure limits.”

This is likely a response to Apple’s new iPad which, while advertised as 4G, doesn’t actually work on Australia’s 4G networks.

Before Apple dropped the iPad 2 price to $429, Samsung was competing well, undercutting Apple. Since the price shift, Samsung has been silent, and right now, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 costs more than Apple’s iPad 2. Hopefully we’ll see a dollar dropping response in the coming weeks.

We loved the Galaxy Tab 7.7, though it's a little strange that a smaller WiFi only device costs more than the iPad 2.