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December 07, 2010

Report Says Apple May Have to Lower iPad Pricing

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

Apple may soon be forced to offer lower-priced iPads, according to a survey of 4,800 U.S. and European consumers conducted by Strategy Analytics’ Tablet and Touchscreen Strategies service.

The survey, entitled “Apple's (News - Alert) iPad: Users, Buying Intentions and Price Expectations,” indicates that two- thirds of potential iPad buyers expect to pay less than $500 or 500 euros for the iPad. Those in the U.S. can get an iPad for retail prices that start at $499, and according to the research firm, this pricing strategy is likely to present Apple with its first major hurdle as it seeks to sustain the iPad’s early success.

The market is rife with competition and competitors will do their bit to gain tablet market share by targeting consumers’ price expectations, and ultimately, Apple will be forced to offer lower priced iPads.

The study reveals that many iPad users continue to use mobile phones and computers from other brands, and still feel positively towards them.

Data also shows that other technology firms such as BlackBerry (News - Alert)/RIM, Samsung and Motorola can leverage their own brand loyalty to tap into the increasing demand for tablet devices.

“Apple has had a clear run at the tablet market for the last few months,” said David Mercer, principal analyst and the report’s author. “As tablets from other major brands begin to arrive we expect price competition to heat up, and many consumers tell us they are waiting for lower-priced devices.”

“Apple's iPad: Users, Buying Intentions and Price Expectations,” also shows that Acer and Dell (News - Alert) are the most popular computer brands owned by iPad users; iPad buyers are less sensitive than average to paying monthly fees for additional services; and more people expect to buy an iPad during the coming 12 months than an Xbox 360 or a PS3.

Read a related article at TMCnet: “Apple's iPad Makes Disabled, Recovering Patients Say 'iCan.”

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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