July 29, 2010
All eyes in the tech world are on ... Kmart?
The Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD ) subsidiary is selling a $150 tablet computer powered by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android operating system. That price is good through July 31, according to an online circular. Naturally, some folks are wondering if the device -- the Augen GENTOUCH78 -- poses any sort of threat to Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) wildly popular iPad.
I've not seen the device in person, but I can tell you the answer is "no."
According to the specs on the company's website, the Augen version is smaller and far less capable than the iPad. It's not in the same league and so is aimed at a different audience. Still, the price tag is the draw here; it's one of the lowest among the array of Android tablets available.
When might we see a true iPad competitor? The components alone in that device cost around $260, according to iSuppli. Also, Computerworld says Apple has "locked up access to manufacturing materials" because of huge demand for the iPad.
Bottom line: It will probably be quite some time before we see a device that can compete on price, quality, and quantity. In the meantime, we cheapskates just might have to hit up Kmart for the next Blue Light Special.