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Do you want your tablet with or without a data contract?

0.0By Nigel Chiwaya May 17, 2011 02:42 PM

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Do you want your tablet with or without a data contract?

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made waves this week when he discussed why Android tablets were struggling to gain traction in the market. Among the reasons Huang pointed to was a flaw in the way that Android tablets are sold. While the iPad is sold from a WiFi base model up, Android tablets are sold from 3G models down.

Quoth CNET:
"Though Huang didn't mention the $499 starting price for the iPad, it was clear that this was a reference point. 'The baseline configuration included 3G when it shouldn't have,' he said. 'Tablets should have a Wi-Fi configuration and be more affordable. And those are the ones that were selling more rapidly than the 3G and fully configured ones,' he said."

Huang makes a good point: there is a fundamental difference in the way iPads and Android tablets are sold. While Apple pushes both WiFi and 3G models, they make sure to let the consumer know that the cheapest iPad is available for $499. Android tablets meanwhile are sold mainly through carriers, with expensive data contracts. Look at both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom: both tablets debuted their 3G models first, with WiFi versions coming later.

That isn't to say that 3G tablets aren't great. Indeed they are, and the ability to surf on a tablet from anywhere is an awesome selling point. But you know what: the data contracts don't do enough to subsidize the price of the tablet down to smartphone levels. So there was a period of time where the consumer had to choose between three similarly priced tablets, except the Tab and Xoom both came with required data contacts. Is it any surprise that most people ended up choosing the $499 WiFi iPad?

HTC as we know won't be making the same mistake: they'll have a WiFi version of the HTC Flyer available around the same time that the HTC EVO View 4G launches on Sprint. And although the View will have that tasty WiMax on board, I'm going to bet that the WiFi Flyer sells better.

What do you guys think? Is 3G so important to you that you'll pay the data contract? Or is WiFi good enough, especially if you've got a tethering plan for your smartphone?

(Note: Yes, I know the Flyer won't be coming out on AT&T. Sprint't logo wasn't as perfect for the image above, though. Let me have my metaphor, darnit.)
 
 
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Comments (3)


By Fone_Fanatic May 17, 2011 03:15 PM

I think hes absolutely correct. Price points have been to high and wifi only versions are being released after their 3g variants.

When the transformer was released at 399.99 for 16gb wifi only, it was obviously gonna fly off she loves.I bought 2(currently writing this on one of them) and now in the market for a third but they're still sold out everywhere!!

(Reply)

By ejsu28 May 18, 2011 02:21 AM

3G on a tablet to me is non-subject. 99% of the place I go have wifi connection available.

(Reply)

By kputmanjr May 18, 2011 08:40 AM

Keep your 3G, 4G, and 5G...

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