Sony is hoping you’ll kick off the New Year by picking up a 16GB or 32GB Tablet S device priced as low as $400 — $100 cheaper than the device’s original pricing. The new price tag also brings Sony’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb-based tablet $100 below the cost of competing iPad 2 models, which are priced at $500 (16GB) and $600 (32GB). Sony’s latest price drop follows a $50 price cut during the holiday season, but this drop appears to be permanent.
Sony’s price cut may be just the latest sign of how tablet makers are finding it difficult to compete with the iPad. Apple’s slate currently owns more than 61 percent of the tablet market worldwide, according to the latest numbers from market research firm IDC (which shares a parent company with PCWorld).
Competing slates that have failed to get a foothold in the tablet market include the Hewlett-Packard TouchPad, which the company killed off in August following the device’s July debut. Research In Motion is struggling with poor sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook despite holiday sale pricing that went as low as $199. Asus’ new Transformer Prime tablet at Best Buy is currently priced at $500 for a 32GB device. Amazon’s Kindle Fire avoided any clashes with the iPad by offering a tablet focused primarily on media consumption and pricing the device at $200.
At $400, the Tablet S looks like a pretty good buy if you’re not willing to shell out the extra $100 on an iPad 2.
The Tablet S features a 9.4-inch TFT display with 1280-by-800 resolution, 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, front- and rear-facing cameras, microUSB port, SD expansion slot, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The Tablet S is currently running Android 3.1 Honeycomb, but is expected to get an upgrade to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.