With more than 90% of the market, Apple has been streeting the tablet field. With the early release of iPad 2 it’s disappeared over the horizon.
A price war seems inevitable. Even the iPad 2 – which starts at $499 - is priced below Motorola’s Xoom, but the heavy blood-letting will be among the lower orders. As WSJ reported a couple of days ago:
By the end of 2010 there were already 30 different tablets for sale, according to research company PRTM. The company now counts 102 tablets from 64 different makers that are either available now or in development.
Another Journal story points out that Apple keeps its costs down by pre-paying for components and buying manufacturing capacity, as well as the fact that a third of its sales are through its own retail outlets.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s declaration that it will be ready for the tablet wars some time in 2012 says something about how far ahead Apple is. Though it also tells us much more about how far Microsoft has fallen behind.