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Devices/smartphones

Tablets: Counting the Cost

3:35 PM -- $600 appears to be the benchmark price for the fresh crop of new tablets arriving.

Of course, you can spend up to $829 on a top-of-the-range Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad or $799 for a HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) Slate 500. For around $600, however, you can get an unsubsidized Galaxy Tab from Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) or Verizon Wireless or a 3G iPad. (See Sprint's Galaxy Tab in a Subsidy Orbit and RIM Shows Off PlayBook Tablet.)

I understand that Apple can typically charge a premium on its devices. I do wonder, however, if other vendors can follow suit with similar pricing.

Obviously, prices will come down over time. High-resolution touchscreen larger displays don't come that cheap at the moment.

Nonetheless, with devices like the sleek MacBook Air starting at $999, do tablets' $600 and $800 price tags really look that competitive? Not to mention, Sprint is offering Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL)'s Mini 10 netbook -- with onboard 3G and WiMax -- free with a two-year contract signing and rebate!

It'll be interesting to see if BlackBerry can come in cheaper with the PlayBook and shake up the market. (See RIM Shows Off PlayBook Tablet.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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