updated 08:05 am EST, Fri January 29, 2010
ASUS, MSI caught off guard by iPad price
Apple's iPad has triggered a panic in the Taiwanese PC market over the low price, according to reports from industry sources in the area. ASUS and MSI had allegedly expected Apple to charge as much as $1,000, but the $499 base price for an iPad has left them with little if any room to undercut their American rival. They had planned to price themselves between 20 to 30 percent lower but now have to reconsider as they may kill profit margins to achieve a similar effect below Apple.
These and other companies may consider avoiding a price war altogether, DigiTimes' sources added.
At the same time, display maker AU Optronics' global business executive VP Paul Peng has noted that Apple has already had a ripple effect on the netbook industry. Often a supplier of notebook LCDs, AUO has been asked to provide panels similar to the 9.7-inch, 1024x768 LCD found in the iPad. Peng believes this is a reflection of companies switching up their strategy and that Apple could eat into the netbook market, selling as many as 10 million iPads this year.
The official believes Apple's main obstacles are possible component shortages and e-books. Despite adding text reading as a feature, Peng is concerned that Apple may have little effect on dedicated e-book readers as LCD isn't as suited to reading. Where e-paper displays are easy on the eyes, LCD reading isn't necessarily comfortable after about an hour and may lend the iPad only to short stints or its non-book functions.