Everyone making a table that doesn’t run on iOS is getting serious about unseating Apple’ iPad from its lofty throne. More and more are deciding to sacrifice the bottom line for a bit of user adoption.
The latest example is Fusion Garage, which is dropping the price of its Grid 10 tablet from $499 and $599 (for Wi-Fi and 3G models), to $299 and $399, respectively. Carriers for the 3G model have not been announced yet.
We got to check out the Grid 10 tablet firsthand, and it was pretty cool. It’s based on the Android kernel, but completely re-skinned to provide a unique grid-based user interface. It’s got a 10-inch, 1366 x 768 resolution display and a front screen free of buttons.
We’ve seen a number of tablet makers drop their price points below the iPad in recent weeks, after iPad-like prices haven’t fared so well. One case in point: the Motorola Xoom. Lenovo’s A1 tablet will start at $200, making it one of the cheapest options out there. Amazon is purported to be debuting a $250 7-inch tablet in the coming months. And the HP TouchPad positively flew off shelves once HP dropped it down to $99.
According to Fusion Garage, the reason for the price drop was that the company “was able to negotiate better supply chain pricing from its manufacturing partner.”
Fusion Garage’s Grid 10 was set to debut September 15, but that date has been pushed to October 1 to accommodate testing to satisfy Adobe Flash Player’s new certification requirements.
Fine by me. We’ve seen what happens when a tablet (or any product) is pushed out too soon, with the Blackberry PlayBook being a recent case. Although the Playbook’s launch was delayed, it still shipped prematurely, without native support for important features like e-mail, contacts or messaging and with problems displaying Flash. It ended up getting panned by critics and consumers.