Those predictions about cheaper tablets in 2012 have apparently not been empty promises.
According to IMS Research, the average tablet in the market dropped by 21 percent in price and landed at $386 in the first quarter of the year. Of course, much of this circumstance can be attributed to Apple's decision to keep offering the iPad 2 next to the new retina iPad, and dropping the price from $499 to $399.
However, it seems that low-end tablets have also come down in price and that the previous attractive $200 price point has moved down as well. IMS analyst Gerry Xu said that technology alone does not allow tablet vendors to differentiate themselves from competitors, which means that a low price is the "major factor" to attract customers. "To balance performance and profitability with a low price remains challenging for most tablet vendors," Xu said.
2012 may bring some change to the market, as Amazon is preparing its second generation Kindle and Google is readying its own tablet for launch. This means more technology for the money will force tablet vendors to upgrade their designs while keeping tablet prices where they are or dropping them even further.