As new technology is perfected and the cost of producing component parts decreases, the amount we pay for the latest and greatest technologies tends to decrease as well. You can get a new TV for a few hundred dollars, when people were lining up to pay $5,000+ for the first generation of flat-panels. Similarly, as newer and newer technology begins to emerge, the old is sold at a heavy discount to make way for the latest and greatest.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was talking to a few tech journalists over lunch today, where he indicated that we would likely see the price of Tegra 3 tablets drop to below $300 in just a few quarters. This is striking to hear when one realizes that the first Tegra 3 tablet, the Asus Transformer Prime, has not yet hit store shelves, and will debut at the base price of $499 for 32 GB of storage. According to Mr. Huang, we will soon see tablets that can do much more than the recently released Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet for only $50 – $100 more.
This could be related to NVIDIA’s projected rate of development of systems on a chip, which would see Tegra 3+ devices hitting the market in mid-2012, followed by Project Wayne (With 10-20 times the performance of Tegra 2) in early 2013. In short, competition in the mobile chipset market is intensifying, with the rate of innovation growing at an exponential rate. We are getting to the point where new chipsets are being released every 6 months, which Mr. Huang argues should help drive prices of Android tablets and smartphones down into the $300 range.
What do you guys think? Will we soon see killer tablets hitting the affordable $300 price point? For those of you who haven’t yet purchased a tablet, are you more likely to buy one at that price point?