The announcement of Apple’s “new iPad” is sure to ruffle a few feathers over in the Android tablet camp, most notably because now manufacturers have no excuse over price drops.
Ever since the first few iPad competitors broke ground in 2010, reviewers have been especially critical of the price the tablets fetched.
While Apple’s first-generation iPad amazed and delighted with its design, technology, and operating system, competitors were trying to come up with something else, initially trying the 7 inch tablet market with prices that damn near matched what Apple was trying to do.
Since then, more tablet manufacturers have shifted their game and created some truly excellent devices, but one thing remained: prices close to – if not evenly matched or higher – that of Apple’s, without offering the same application ecosystem.
Much of this was due to the fact that manufacturers would argue that the same sort of technology thrown into Apple’s products was used here, thus driving the cost to be roughly the same.
Those not taking that line of defense would say that if they lowered the price on their tablets, consumers would view that their product is inferior and the damage to both reputation and product line-ups would be disasterous.
There was, however, always a catch here: these companies weren’t Apple.
The reason Apple got to ask for these prices was that you were paying for Apple design, an Apple operating system, an Apple application ecosystem, and this connection to one of the world’s biggest content delivery systems: iTunes.
Now “the new iPad” has been announced with the best screen ever produced in a mobile device, and while the naming convention will probably confuse everyone for a while to come, the pricing won’t:
Apple’s “new iPad” will fetch a starting price of $539 in Australia, while keeping the iPad 2 – for all intents and purposes, still an excellent tablet – in the market for $429.
Now makers of Android tablets don’t really have a choice: the prices will have to drop.