However, the Nexus 7 disrupted the market last year, along with Amazon tablets. This year it’s getting even tougher, as Google and Amazon revamped their line-up, and they joined by Acer, Asus, Tesco and Nvidia to name but a few new players in the cheap tablet space. As a result, Chinese tablet makers are turning to even cheaper components and targeting even lower price points. Most big brand low-end tablets are priced around $150, so white-box outfits are now forced to go even cheaper, reports Digitimes.
For example, the cheapest 7-inch tablet carried by Walmart is priced at just $49, while 8- to 9-inch models with dual-core A9 processors go for as little as $99. Prices in Europe are a tad higher, as usual. The cheapest of the cheap go for less than €50, while €100 will buy you a dual-core with 1GB of RAM and 8GB to 16GB of storage, which doesn’t sound bad all things considered.
However, the race to the bottom is not reserved for nameless outfits from China. The cheapest Asus MeMo Pad with a VIA 1.0GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage can be picked up for about €100. The same goes for the Acer Iconia Tab B1, with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a dual-core Mediatek SoC. Archos also has a few models in the sub-€100 segment. Amazon.de used to sell the Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 for €99, but it’s out of stock.
Of course, there’s a ton of sub-€100 tablets from smaller, but relatively established players like Archos, Prestigio, Point of View and others. They all have one thing in common - €99.99 is the price point they’re all gunning for.
This trend is going largely unnoticed, as dirt cheap tablets are not something the tech press tends to write about. However, IDC’s recent figures indicate that the combined share of small tablet vendors rose from 26 percent last year to 39 percent in the second quarter of this year.
So who is buying them? We have a tendency to look at everything from a techie perspective, but low-end tablets are getting so cheap that they are competing with actual toys – and kids love them. For some reason, this particular niche hasn’t been filled by big vendors, one would expect to see a lot more dirt cheap, rubberized tablets designed specifically for the preschool crowd.