A new report claims that the U.S. is on the verge of seeing $99 Android tablets hit the market this year. Android tablet vendors are feeling pressure from a few companies who are already selling tablets at $129 and $149 and will follow suit by offering 7-inch Android tablets at the sweet price of $99.
When Amazon and Google launched 7-inch tablets for $199, consumers were offered tablets at a price point most consumers didn't have a problem spending. Both tablets have sold very well and ushered in even lower priced tablets. Apple even felt the need to enter the smaller-sized tablet market with the iPad mini, but in typical Apple fashion, it charged a premium. However, it also offered a larger 8-inch display to justify the difference.
Asus, who happens to manufacture the Nexus 7 for Google, has started shipping its 7-inch MeMo Pad HD for $129. The very reasonably priced tablet offers 8GB of internal storage and an HD display, but its price is the tablet's strongest feature. According to DigiTimes, rival tablet vendors are feeling the pressure of Asus's $129 price point and will be forced to follow, and will likely undercut Asus by offering tablets in the U.S. for sub-$99 in the third quarter. "The sources pointed out that many brand vendors are interested in how Asustek was able to offer its tablet at US$129 and feel pressured by the price. Prior to the MeMO Pad HD 7, Acer's Iconia B1 was the cheapest 7-inch tablet, featuring a dual-core processor and priced at US$149," DigiTimes reported.
The tablet market is growing at a very fast rate right now, so more and more manufacturers are looking to offer tablets with smaller displays and lower specs to appeal to new tablet buyers who don't want to spend a lot of money and don't need all the bells and whistles of more expensive tablets. We recently reported that Apple is rumored to offer a cheaper iPad mini this year as well, but we're quite sure it won't be nowhere near $99.
If DigiTime's report is true, you can bet that the sub-$99 tablets will be a very popular gift this holiday season as the $99 price of admission is a small investment for anyone looking to try out a tablet for the first time.