By Harry McCracken | Friday, August 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm
The New York Post’s Garett Sloane is reporting that a source tells him that Amazon.com will start selling an Android tablet for “hundreds less” than the $499 iPad in late September or October. “Hundreds less?” That’s both a specific claim and a vague one.
Could Amazon sell a tablet for $399? Sure, that’s entirely plausible. But that’s not hundreds less–it’s hundred less.
$299? Not inconceivable. But I think we’d be talking one with sharply less robust technical specs and an iPad or a Honeycomb tablet, and probably a smallish screen.
$199? Hmmm. If Amazon sells a tablet for $199, it’s going to be fairly basic and Amazon will eat some of the cost in hopes of selling buyers content later.
$99? No, it won’t be $99. For one thing, that’s cheaper than a Kindle. (Disclaimer: I suppose it’s possible that Amazon will sell a tablet with some sort of contract or subscription that requires buyers to pay for content. In that case, $99 isn’t an impossibility.)
I like the idea of Amazon selling a cheap, relatively simple tablet. We already know that selling a tablet that’s sort of like the iPad at a similar (or higher!) price isn’t a road to riches. And for all the millions of people who have plunked down at least $499 for an iPad, there are plenty more who have opted out but might jump in at the right price.
It’s been fun speculating about Amazon’s tablet plans–but it’ll be more fun when we know the truth. Hope we don’t have to wait much longer.