Sony has knocked $100 off the price of its S series tablet, another sign that non-Apple tablet pricing is trending downward.
The 16GB Tablet S is now $400, reduced from $500, while the 32GB model got cut to $500 from $600.
Specs include a 9.4-inch 1280×800 display, front and rear cameras, Android Honeycomb, 1GB system memory, and eight hours of rated battery life.
Sony is by no means is the first to wield an ax on pricing. RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook is the most extreme recent example of tablet price deflation. The PlayBook has been selling–depending on the week–for $300 off its original price.
But Android tablet (the PlayBook uses the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet operating system) prices are also trending downward from their rarified $700-$800 price tier 2-year-contract-only beginnings.
Consumer 10-inch Android tablets like the 16GB Lenovo IdeaPad K1 Tablet (Wi-Fi only) and 16GB Acer Iconia (Wi-Fi) are priced relatively low from the get-go, now listed at $319.99 and $359.99, respectively at Best Buy. And the 16GB Toshiba Thrive (Wi-Fi) and the 16GB Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Wi-Fi) are both $400.
Is that low enough to trigger significant consumer demand for a 10-inch class tablet? Only the tablet suppliers know for sure but Amazon and Barnes and Noble are not making it any easier by releasing 7-inch tablets for $199 and $249, respectively. The Kindle Fire, in particular, is seeing very strong demand.
Alas, Apple, so far, is pretty much immune to the price pressure impacting mere mortal tablet makers. Ranging from $499 to $829, Apple still sells over ten million tablets per quarter.
Verizon apparently didn’t get that memo, though. The carrier just released the Motorola XyBoard priced between $529.99 and $729.99 with a two-year contract (and as much as $899.99 without a contract).