Digitimes reports that in order to boost sales and clear inventory due to weaker than expected demand, Android, webOS and QNX tablet makers are planning across-the-board price cuts by the end of September.
We don’t see it as much of a surprise that the tablet prices will be falling about six months after launch, and the process had even started with some manufacturers. HP recently made the $100 price cut for its HP TouchPad permanent, and now we are seeing the Toshiba Thrive appearing for $368 at Walmart, and the Acer Iconia Tab A500 $322 at Amazon.
The sources believe that prices will gradually slide to $350 on average by October, and go down to $300 in time for the holidays.
If quality Android slates, like the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, or the Acer Iconia Tab A500, which used to command pretty decent $399 price tags already, get slashed 25%, this will certainly increase the market share of Android’s tablet OS, which is still quite low compared to the iOS slates.
There’s no kidding that accessories produced by first party manufacturers can sometimes be on the pricey side, but lucky for all of us, third parties are usual there to save us some cash. Logitech just released two new Bluetooth enabled keyboards that are meant to work with Android tablets, but one of them is specifically catered to work with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
First up is the $69.99 Bluetooth keyboard that’s meant to work with any Android 3.0 and above Honeycomb tablets. Powered by 4 triple-A batteries, this keyboard features a low profile design, compact keys, dedicated media buttons, and a complementary case that actually doubles as a stand for a tablet.
With the second Bluetooth keyboard, which is priced higher at $99.99, it’s specifically made to work with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. That’s because it’s able to keep the tablet firmly at an angled position to make typing very easy for yourself – and much like the other keyboard, this one also doubles as a protective aluminum case for the tablet.
Therefore, if you simply don’t want to buy those first party accessories from the manufacturers directly, then you might want to consider snatching any of Logitech’s offerings.
The whole injunction against Samsung for violating Apple’s intellectual property in design patents with its Galaxy Tab 10.1 has leaked now, and Apple is apparently using design drawings of its own tablets, in order to demonstrate the alleged similarities.
The pan-European ban of Samsung’s latest and greatest tablet excludes the Netherlands, but the trial there is going on right now, and might result in the slate being banned everywhere in the EU. The German law allows this, even without notifying the other side about the proceedings, but if the plaintiff doesn’t have a strong enough case, they might end up paying damages for the incurred loss of revenue.
The injunction document explicitly asks for a ban on “using, in particular, manufacturing, offering (including advertising), introducing into the market, importing, exporting and/or possessing for the said purposes” of Samsung’s gizmo, pictures of which are placed next to Apple design drawings in the motion as illustrated below:
The Dusseldorf court decision comes at a time when the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was preparing an assault on the European market, and a promo about it has been spotted at the big consumer electronics retailer MediaMarkt already, which you can see on the right here.
Forrester Research even raised its prediction for non-iPad tablet sales from 20% to 30% of the market in Europe this year, unlike the US, where the iPad hold 80%.
The analysts attribute this to the fact that Apple doesn’t have as big of a retail presence in Europe as in the US, and, also, the European carriers had started offering pretty enticing bundles, where the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is deeply subsidized if you purchase with a carrier contract.
Oh, the horror! Following the patent bickering with Apple, Samsung has been banned from selling its Galaxy Tab line in the EU for now by a German court. Netherlands is the only country where it will be legal to sell Samsung’s best Android slate across the European Union.
A similar thing happened in Australia recently, where the first reports actually pegged Samsung as voluntarily stopping the sales and marketing of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, until the courts issue a statement on Apple’s claims.
Samsung’s Director of PR Kim Titus reacted immediately:
“Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world.
The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.
We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung’s innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.
This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.”, he comments.
The case is being reviewed in the Regional Court of Dusseldorf, a place where everyone uses iPhones. We kid, but due to its decisions being valid across the European Union, the ban only spares the Netherlands for some reason – in every other EU country the Samsung distributors will have to place a hold on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales campaigns.
Motorola Mobility CEO Sanjay Jha spoke Tuesday at the Oppenheimer Annual Technology & Communications Conference. Jha made some news with his comments. Speaking about the mythical Motorola DROID Bionic, Jha says the long awaited beast is important, but not the only device in Motorola’s lineup. That could be a tip of the hat to some of the manufacturer’s recent launches like the Motorola PHOTON 4G and the Motorola DROID 3. Or, perhaps it foreshadows a quad-core Ice Cream Sandwich powered monster far beyond our thought capabilities at the current moment, that will be presented at next year’s CES.
Motorola’s tablet offerings are going to have “much more aggressive form factors” in the second half of this year with cheaper models offering Wi-Fi only connectivity and bringing features for the enterprise user. Jha also told the attendees that his company will have less fragmentation with a more streamlined world-wide branding in order to save big bucks on advertising and promotion. Sounding as though he would act immediately to implement a new marketing campaign, Jha wants to copy Samsung’s brand strategy. For example, the Galaxy line is known around the globe and encompasses different phone and tablet models. Jha wants to be able to have a number of global launches among carriers world wide and then use a singular ad and marketing campaign to drive sales. The CEO said that,”You will see with global launches, much greater consistency.” It all brings new meaning to Motorola’s announcement the other day about the company registering some domain names with the word “Kore” used in all of them. There was some speculation that Kore could be the title of Motorola’s successor to the Xoom tablet, but in light of Jha’s comments, it could have an entirely different meaning.
The Motorola DROID was the first Android handset with 2.0 aboard, and that helped drive sales which helped spawn Androidmania. But what about being the first with Ice Cream Sandwich? The CEO said, “It depends. I would say by and large I would like to be the first. But there are times when being the first to launch has greater schedule uncertainty. You are taking more chances with new innovation in the beginning and sometimes that has negative impact. By and large, largely it’s a very positive thing.”
Not to be forgotten amongst the heap of newer Honeycomb tablets that are on the market, the 3D video recording capable T-Mobile G-Slate is more than likely to start receiving its Honeycomb 3.1 tasting tomorrow; August 10th.
Actually, LG says that they’ll be rolling it out some time today, but device owners would more than likely see it come in tomorrow – especially when it’s being rolled out in waves. Either way, it’s expected to arrive over the course of the next few days for the majority of people.
As we all know, Android 3.1 Honeycomb isn’t a dramatic upgrade, but rather, T-Mobile G-Slate owners will find the host of improvements to be more than satisfactory in the near term. In fact, it features some UI refinements, connectivity for USB accessories, the recent apps list is now scrollable to see all opened apps, certain core widgets are resizable, support for external keyboard, and some updates to some of the preloaded apps.
Taking into account that it was one of the very first Honeycomb tablets to arrive on the scene, the update surely did take some time to come to fruition, but it’s nonetheless nice to see it finally here.
Vizio’s 8-inch tablet hit shelves in various retailers including Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon, for a pretty affordable price of $299. The Gingerbread tablet features a heavily customized version of Google’s platform, but it also doubles as a universal remote control. Basically, controlling your home entertainment happens via a built-in infra-red blaster, but the tablet also sports 3 speakers with SRS True Media sound, so it’s quite capable as a remote control, but heck – you’d expect that for a $300 RC.
Going back in time, we can notice that Vizio’s tablet has stripped a big chunk of its initially projected price – first it was spotted costing $399 for pre-orders, while in June we heard rumors about the slate getting a $349 price. It seems that competition has pushed that boundary even lower, which is more than welcome news for buyers.
So what do you get for your money? The chip powering the tablet is clocked at 1GHz and works along with 512MB of RAM. The 8-inch capacitive touchscreen screen has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. The Vizio slate also features a front facing VGA camera, which rounds up the spec sheet.
Despite featuring Gingerbread, which is not specifically optimized for tablets, the Vizio 8 incher has seen some heavy customization with Vizio’s VIA Plus interface and it does support the Android Market, which turns it into a fully functional tablet. Connectivity is well covered with GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microHDMI and microUSB, while the 2GB of internal storage are expandable through a microSD card. With the promise of a solid 10hrs “of normal use,” this seems like a legitimate alternative to mainstream tablets for those on a tight budget. Not convinced? Feel free to check out the video demo below to get a better idea about the tablet and don’t hesitate to share your opinions about this super-sized remote/tablet in the comments below.
Everybody sing along. Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd. Rent me a Samsung Galaxy Tab…what?!! Yes, T-Mobile is changing the fan experience at L.A. Angel home games by offering to rent you either the T-Mobile G-Slate (made by LG) or the Samsung Galaxy Tab for $10. The tablet has an optimized program installed, replacing the old paper program that you use to keep score. Renters get free magazine content from Zinio and those that rent the G-Slate get access to T-Mobile TV. Tablets can be rented at the T-Mobile store at Angels Stadium.
Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl says he sees plenty of possibilities to bring technology to the fans and that the club is just starting to see what they can do with the tablet rentals. In a statement, T-Mobile Southern California VP Darrin Silveria said that the carrier is always happy to bring unique offerings to T-Mobile customers. Of course, T-Mobile benefits from sales of the tablets that come from a fan’s experience trying it out at a game. Special apps are pre-loaded such as a radar gun to measure how fast a pitcher is throwing the ball. Out of town games can be streamed from ESPN and of course, the lifeblood of any baseball fan-statistics-can be found, updated during the game.
Other teams in various sports have used mobile apps to educate fans. For example, the Portland Timber soccer club joined with app developer Meridian on an app for both iOS and Android that shows you your seat and even gives you the words to team chants. Meridian is expected to soon announce a deal to provide apps for the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank field. At Safeco Field in Seattle, Nintendo DS rentals are available for fans to try out the Nintendo Fan Network, but also can be used as a distraction between pitches.
Recently the L.A. Times did a video as part of a written piece on the tablet rentals at Angel games. You can check it out below. And while using a tablet at a baseball game can come in handy for figuring out up to date batting averages and era figures, perhaps the best use of the device is as a shield when a foul ball is screaming toward your face.
Kmart shoppers have the opportunity to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab for $99.99 with a signed 2 year contract with Sprint. The tablet with the 7 inch screen comes with Android 2.3 installed, despite what the ad claims, and offers both a rear and front-facing camera at 3MP and 1.3MP respectively. The tablet has 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and there is a 1GHz single-core Hummingbird processor under the hood.
There is no confusing the Samsung Galaxy Tab with its larger and certainly more high-end brother, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. On the other hand, Kmart isn’t exactly known as a place to find the most up-to-date technology. For those needing a small lightweight tablet for the upcoming school year, the discounter couldn’t have turned on its blue light at a better time.
According to information given to CENS.com, Amazon expects to sell 3 million of its Android flavored tablets this fall. Quanta Computer Inc., the contract manufacturer putting together Amazon’s tablet, has been told to keep the assembly line running to the tune of 800,000 to 1 million units produced each month from August through October. As a point of reference, consider that Motorola said it expects to sell half that amount for the entire year.
Amazon’s tablet is easier to build with technical specifications not as complex as the competition. This makes the device cheaper to produce giving Amazon an advantage at the retail level. Amazon’s plan is to get its tablet distributed widely and then sell apps through the Amazon Appstore. And consumers are ready for a low priced alternative. As we reported, a survey showed that 55% of those asked would seriously consider buying an Amazon branded tablet. 79% said they would buy a tablet for $250 or less. That percentage drops sharply to 48% when the price goes up to $300 or less.
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