iTablet Price a Sticky Question

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Update: Apple has finally made public their new tablet, the iPad. Details about their annoucement, including pricing can be found in Apple's iPad Tablet Includes Cool New Apps and Features

Apparently someone at had the same thought I did in regards to what would be the ideal price for the rumored Apple "iTablet". But unlike my personal speculation about what that price could be they went ahead and conducted a survey.

In The iTablet, Only from AT&T post I openly wondered if the rumored device might be offered by AT&T at a subsidy since "rumors put this tablet device at anywhere between $600 - $1000" which begged the question in my mind "would you pay $1000 for a device that could get lost or dropped easily? If your going to spend that much would you just purchase a Macbook? Even at the $600 price-range would you buy Apple's tablet, a cheap laptop or a netbook?"

According to's survey 64% of "PC users" - who AppleInsider suggests are accustomed to low-cost machines - would purchase the device if it was priced under $600. How much under is a question left open by the survey, but I doubt $599 would get the same 64% response as say $399 or even $299.

"How Much Would You Pay for the Rumored Apple Tablet?"

You may ask why are "cheap PC Users" of important interested when, as surveyed, 41% of "Mac Users" would be happy to spend "$800 or more" for Apple's yet to be announced device?

Mac/iPhone Comparison, Units Shipped

Simply put, while Mac sales have been increasing steadily over the past couple of years - despite the recession - Apple's iPhone, much like its iPod predecessor, has seen explosive growth beyond Apple's traditional Mac User market - in part because of accessible pricing.

Features are one thing. Price is quite another.

Speaking of features, supposedly the iTablet will do for news organizations what the iPod has done for recording studios. Aggregate and sell content to the owners of Apple's new device via iTunes.

But given the current collection of e-Readers on the market from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony - all of which are priced around $199 to $299 I should point out - would someone really pay a $300 premium for Apple's device? Even if it included all of the iPhone's multi-touchscreen abilities and apps?

With the collection of netbooks, smartphones, e-Readers and Apple's iTablet all vying to define - or redefine - the mobile experience for the coming year(s), somehow I doubt Apple is going to want to price themselves out of the market.

One the other hand, perhaps I'll be able to save up some money by forgoing the purchasing of any more bookshelves?


I think $500 is the right price.

It's more of a life companion that a kindle.

I imagine that I'll use it more than my phone.

In fact if I can stick a sim card into the itablet and there is a small stylish bluetooth phone that connects to I may even give up my iPhone... So $500 or even $600 would be ok

I agree that Apple's device most likely will be a richer, more flexible device compared to Amazon's Kindle with electronic publishing/distribution/reading simply being a highlight given the rumored 10-inched screen.

But I do doubt that people will look at the device and think, "oh, I can work on that twenty page business report, along with its related spreadsheets, graphs and charts from scratch with this thing." Reviewing, modifying and note-taking for that report on the go, sure. Wholesale creation, doubtful.

Thus I see this device as an extension of, but not a replace for the personal computer.

That and given the current trend towards netbooks and cheaper laptops for personal computing needs I simply think Apple is going to be hard-pressed to justify a high premium/price point if they wish to see great adoption rates for this device and continued growth in their underlying mobile platform, which includes the iPod Touch and iPhone, multi-touch and the App Store.

The Kindle 2 was delivered to me yesterday (I did not own the first Kindle-- I wanted to own it but it was back ordered into next century). So, I purchased the Sony PRS-700 with the touchscreen when it debuted but I returned it (nice UI but the screen's legibility was, unfortunately, poor). I replaced the PRS-700 with the PRS-505 and have been using that ever since (the 505 may not have the excellent UI of its successor but the screen is quite good).

When Amazon announced the Kindle 2 I quickly jumped on the bandwagon (the wireless delivery service and Amazon's huge selection of books along with Kindle 2's new UI and design were the factors that drove my decision). I have not been disappointed. Out-of-the-box the Kindle 2 was a delight to use. I pushed the "on" switch and the books that I pre-ordered from Amazon began to immediately download via Whispernet--within minutes 8 books appeared on my reader's home page. It could not have been more simple! I find navigating the device (page turns, menus, etc.) to be effortless. The clarity of the screen is just as good if not better than the Sony's 505 (which is quite good) and the speed with which the pages turn is more than satisfactory. The Kindle 2's built-in dictionary is definitely a plus and it's unbelievably fast!

As a high school teacher I'm a fan of anything or anyone that gets people reading more and the Kindle 2 certainly has demonstrated that potential. I am impressed and inspired by the many people who have written in about the original Kindle and the Kindle 2-- clearly these devices have changed many people's lives for the better and have brought them delight and satisfaction-- that's why I'm enkindled!

Apple has just released Ipad with similar pricing and seemingly better features for their base model. Do you think launch of Ipad will affect the Kindle market? Thanks :)

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About the Author

Paul is a technologist and all around nice guy for technology oriented organizations and parties. Besides maintaining this blog and website you can follow Paul's particular pontifications on the Life Universe and Everything on Twitter.


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