Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 17 November 2011]
Due to pure PC hardware players such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Acer, Asustek and Dell not having any advantages to compete in the tablet PC market, sources from upstream supply chain believe these players will gradually phase out from the market with players that have strong content support such as Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, to continue to compete through lowering their hardware prices.
With Amazon offering its Kindle Fire at US$199 and Barnes & Noble to provide its upcoming Nook Simple Touch at a price of US$99, the pure hardware players are unlikely to profit from the market through price competition.
Since Amazon and Barnes & Noble are mainly profiting from their content platforms, not the hardware, the sources believe these hardware devices will eventually be offered for free.
The sources pointed out that although iPad 2 is also seeing strong demand from consumers, sales were lower than those of iPad, indicating that consumers' strong enthusiasm for tablet PCs has already disappeared.