At What Point Do Tablets Become Too Expensive?

Feb 7, 2013
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I’m in the market for a tablet. I already own an iPad and Kindle Fire, but I’ve found that it’s time to upgrade to the latest generation of today’s slates. Some have told me that I should stick with an iPad, since, they claim, “Apple makes the best tablets on the market.” Others, however, have told me to go with an Android-based device and get away from Apple.

Admittedly, I’m quite pleased with both my iPad and Kindle Fire. And although it’s easy to simply pick the iPad and be done with it, Apple’s latest announcement of a 128GB iPad has gotten me thinking.

When I first learned that Apple was planning to sell a 128GB iPad, I was excited. For years now, I’ve been waiting for a company to deliver ample storage for all of my videos and movies, and now, Apple is doing it. Although 64GB was nice, it wasn’t enough for someone like me who has all kinds of video. With 128GB, I should be good for at least the next couple of years.

But then I saw the price. For the Wi-Fi-only version of the 128GB iPad, I’d need to drop $799. For the Wi-Fi-and-cellular model, I’d be set back $929.

Needless to say, those prices gave me more than just a little sticker shock. Yes, I realize that I’m getting double the storage for only $100 more than the 64GB option, but I can’t help but think that paying nearly $1,000 for a tablet is ridiculous. I’m all for paying a fair price for a high-quality product, but dropping that much cash makes me wonder why I just don’t buy a notebook and be done with it.

Apple’s high pricing, however, brings up an important consideration: at what point do tablets become too expensive?

Like it or not, tablets are not full replacements for high-end notebooks. And yet, Apple would want us to pay a price that, in some cases, is much higher than the cost of a notebook.

[aquote]There's a ceiling in tablet pricing, and I'm not sure Apple understands[/aquote]

Tablets are still mobile products that don’t quite deliver all of the features (or convenience) of a full-featured notebook. That’s precisely why I was just find paying around $500 or $600 for an iPad, but take pause when the company tries to get me to pay nearly $1,000 for a device with more storage. There is a ceiling in the land of tablet pricing, and I’m not quite sure Apple understands that.

Of course, I might just be cheap. Perhaps I’m too old school and don’t understand that as tablets become more sophisticated, their prices will rise. But I see tablets as complements to the computers I’m using at home. To price them at levels that make tablets more expensive than notebooks makes me think twice about buying a slate.

I’d like to think I’m not alone. I realize that we’re talking about Apple here and no matter what the company does, many people believe it’s the right thing. But isn’t $929 too expensive for a tablet?

Let me know in the comments below.


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