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Tablet Prices Are Going Down, Euro Site Says

Tablet prices are going down.  But don’t count the iPad yet. Nevertheless, would-be tablet owners will be glad to hear that prices plummeted 13.6 percent during last year. Apple’s popular iPad also lowered its selling price by only 3.45 percent.

The trend for non-Apple tablet makers is to attract the attention of customers by offering cheaper prices, according to market analyst Gerry Xu.

“There are few innovations from vendors to differentiate their tablets; low price seems to be the major factor to attract consumers to buy tablets other than iPads,” Xu said.

The iPad remains as the dominant number one tablet by grabbing a massive 70 percent of the market. The figure is based on sales report during the second quarter.

Idealo, a German price comparison site, conducted a survey of the prices of 1,200 tablet products from 149 tablet makers in Europe. The site averaged out the price of a certain product across several outlets by using its “click data” feature to determine where the customers get their tablet. It makes the price averages show more accuracy in knowing what item was bought.

The spring price fall is more marked by looking at price changes in 2012. Tablets made by Archos show the biggest price dives–the average price of Archos tablets decreased the most from February to June 2012, showing a decrease of of 27.2 percent. The average prices for Asus, Samsung, and Archos also dropped  17.5 percent during the same time period, while Apple’s iPad only showed a 4.5 percent drop.

Analysts attribute the decrease in prices to increased number of new entrants in the market.  The other factor is the post-Christmas price fall pulling prices down between February and March 2012.

The release of iPad 3 in March saw a $100 drop in price for iPad 2, causing a small fall in average Apple prices for the past 12 months.

Some tablet manufacturers like Samsung and Asus are actually doing well despite the current price wars. According to Salman Chaudry, an analyst from Context, some tablet vendors are aiming for product visibility at this time by sacrificing profit. He said such tablets are being promoted though cheaper prices rather than its features. This strategy is opposite to what better performing higher-priced-tablets from Asus and Samsung are doing, which focus on features than on price.

Chaudry considered a 1,200 product list, estimating that each product line would be comprised of up to a dozen variations in capacity, screen size, and other features, with each variant considered a separate product.

Even Microsoft seems to be playing the game after rumors started circulating that the Redmond-based company may be releasing a $199 tab.