updated 01:45 pm EDT, Fri September 30, 2011
HTC Flyer tablet gets permanent price cut to 300
The struggle for non-iPad tablets continued on Friday after Best Buy said it would permanently drop the price of the HTC Flyer down to $300. The cut is a steep $200 drop from its original price and will be permanent. Both online and retail stores should see the cut take effect October 1.
The retailer made no mention of why it was instituting a 40 percent price drop. A similar PlayBook price slash may have been the most immediate factor, as it would leave HTC with one of the most expensive seven-inch tablets on the market.
Such large price cuts may also be a revelation of low sales for the Flyer. While it has better cameras than the iPad 2 and comes with the free Scribe pen, its price matching a larger, faster Apple tablet would hurt its chances at competition. This spring, Apple had 80 percent of North American tablet sales, and Samsung is widely regarded as second place.
A lack of a truly native tablet OS and a single-core processor may have affected HTC's perception in the market place, even if it added many customizations itself for the larger screen.
HTC pledged itself more seriously to the tablet market this month when it launched the Jetstream on AT&T with a true tablet OS, a dual-core processor, and LTE. At $850 off-contract and $650 even when on a two-year plan, though, it's more expensive to own than any other tablet on AT&T.