updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue October 4, 2011
Maylong, Coby have to slash prices to fight Amazon
Tablet makers that have focused most of their time producing cheap alternatives to the iPad are themselves being squeezed by the Amazon Kindle Fire, the retail field acknowledged early Tuesday. Maylong, at times notorious for directly copying Apple, has pushed down the price of its Android 2.2-based M-250 tablet to just $97, Digitimes said. Coby's Kyros tablet has also had to drop to $148.
At $199, the Kindle Fire is only slightly more expensive than what many of these companies, often based in China, tend to charge. Amazon has omitted cameras and has just 8GB of storage inside its tablet, but the much higher build quality and dual-core processor should put it above the others.
Those in the industry have also suggested that Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, is prompting many of these companies to clear out stock. Google's new OS is likely to boost the practical performance requirements and may push some tablet clone developers to redesign the tablets to accommodate any Android interface changes.
Of those competing with the iPad, only major names making 10-inch tablets have so far stayed reasonably stable, with Acer, ASUS, and Toshiba usually selling for closer to $400 on discounts. Even large companies have had to drop the prices on seven-inch tablets to near break-even $300 prices, such as the HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook.