New iPad to push down prices of old tablets

What will drop

It goes without saying that all new technology is old technology, once something even more new comes out, and so regardless of Samsung announcing a tablet last week or Asus showcasing the latest and greatest at Mobile World Congress in Spain, these new devices are now old.

But they’re not nearly as old as what is currently out, the technology that is already in the marketplace being sold to customers like yourself.

A quick glance to The Good Guys shows that the minimum price you can grab a 10 inch Android tablet for is $444, affording you Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. While it might seem like only a short time since Samsung released this tablet – after being held up in legal hell between Apple and Samsung locally – this tablet is now old technology, and while yesterday this was cheaper than the iPad 2, now it’s more expensive than the very tablet it competes with.

It might not seem like old tech, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have to see a price drop to remain competitive.


In fact, all tablets compete with the iPad: it’s the one that started this big tablet onslaught that we’re now seeing. So with that, companies have to actually compete and not just try to price match. The only time prices can change is when the product truly offers a different point of view, like in the case of the 4G LTE equipped tablets we’re now beginning to see (Apple’s “new iPad” features LTE, but not in the type Telstra’s 4G can use, rendering it a moot addition locally).

So what should drop in price? Practically every currently available Android tablet released from last year’s mold will have to see a price shift, otherwise customers will just end up going for either the new iPad or the less expensive iPad 2.

We’re already seeing a refresh of Android tablets, and that was always going to push the prices of older stock down, but now this will need to be done once again.

Expect these price shifts in the next week or so, as manufacturers struggle with how best to combat the two-pronged iPad attack that will arrive when the new iPad surfaces on March 16.

Apple's new iPad with iPhoto, a way to showcase that uber-nice high-resolution screen.

The exception

There are some exceptions to this rule, and some tablets won’t shift in price.

For instance, it’s unlikely that the Windows tablets will move much, if any at all, sticking with the idea that these machines – currently produced by Samsung and Asus – are more than just a slate with a simple operating system, but rather a fully-fledged computer running Windows 7 and featuring a touchscreen.

As such, you’re not likely to see an  Intel Core i5 equipped computer at bargain basement prices where a touchscreen is involved. Not yet, anyway; maybe next year.

You also probably won’t see the latest bunch of Android tablets equipped released only recently move much from their current values.

The Asus Transformer Prime is so new, it competed with the new iPad before it came out, so we're not expecting a huge price shift here, if any.


These are the “new tablets” as far as Android developers are concerned, most arriving with the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a very capable graphics processor, and Google’s latest version of Android – number 4.0, also called “Ice Cream Sandwich”.

As such, these technically compete with the new iPad, the one announced on March 8, rather than the one announced last year and designated the iPad 2.