7-Inch Tablets Projected To Drop To $99 By The End Of The Year

Tablet devices are set to continue their free fall in price. Market analysts have long established that increased competition will give way to more affordable units making their way to the store shelves.

Obviously, most of these will be lacking in processing speed and graphical prowess, but these devices serve well the purpose of allowing users to browse the web, watch videos and listen to music, along with the ability to run a bunch of less intensive apps.

But market watchers are predicting that hardware vendors are determined to flood the market with cheaper devices by the third quarter of this year. And these hardware makers include established brands like ASUS and more.

ASUS is already finding success with its new Android based 7-inch slate, the MeMO Pad HD 7. The device, pictured above, carries a price tag of $129.

Prior to the launch of the MeMO Pad HD 7, Acer had the cheapest tablet on the market — the Iconia B1. The device powered by Android retails for $149.

Tablet PCs that retail for under $100 have long been expected to arrive in the market. Even last year several analysts expected hardware vendors to deliver such cheap devices. Some unbranded devices from China are available at this price range, but no branded tablet retails for $99.

Both Intel and Microsoft have identified an affordable price range and are said to be working with hardware vendors to develop cheaper slates. The chip maker has already expressed its desire to see its processors power $199 tablets.

Redmond, on the other hand, is already preparing a smaller next-generation Surface slate that is widely expected to retail at prices starting $249.

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