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Saturday, August 27, 2011

TECH WARS: Amazon is to launch Cheaper Android-powered tablet in Fall!

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By GARETT SLOANE, / Last Updated: 1:36 PM, August 25, 2011.

When tech is cheap, consumers listen.

That’s the lesson from the fire sale on Hewlett-Packard’s TouchPad tablet that turned a commercial flop into a cult hit.

Once HP decided to kill off the tablet and slashed the price to $99 from $399, consumers flocked to stores, which are now running out of a device that had been gathering dust.

The experiment in consumer psychology proved that the market is hungry for tablets outside of Apple’s iPad -- if the price is right.

Amazon is poised to enter the tablet fray with an Android-powered tablet in late September or October, a source with knowledge of the plans said yesterday.

The device will sell for hundreds less than the entry-point $499 iPad, a feat few tablet makers have accomplished, the source said.

Amazon is considered one of the few credible threats to Apple and has been willing to sell its electronics at a loss in hopes of generating more digital media purchases.

“If Amazon is particularly aggressive on pricing, that could be a trigger for many players to rethink the sales price of tablets,” said Charles King, the lead analyst at Pund-IT.

Aside from the TouchPad phenomenon, the lower-price tablet market is starting to surface, including entrants such as Vizio, which launched a $299 tablet this month.

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