Some things never change. In February I said, "Apple
Another one (iPad wannabe) drops its price
Little more than a month after the July 1 introduction of Hewlett-Packard's
HP seemed to be testing the lower price in early August with widely available instant discounts of $100 -- including at HP's online store. That can't bode well for margins, given that it was priced to match iPad prices and Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said his company is pricing aggressively.
HP isn't the first iPad wannabe to cut prices. Motorola Mobility
How do you like them apples?
Apple said on its July earnings call that it's selling iPads as fast as it can make them. Retail stores sometimes have trouble keeping them in stock. The company is working to expand its iPad manufacturing capacity.
In contrast, a recent Wall Street Journal article noted that iPad competitors focus on the number of tablets they've shipped but won't discuss the number that are being sold. The difference is crucial: Some industry watchers say so many iPad wannabes are sitting in "the channel" that price cuts are needed to move them out.
What about the other horses in this race? Research In Motion
Did the second horse just get injured?
Samsung Electronics was early to launch an iPad alternative, the Android-based Galaxy Tab. It appears to be the only other horse worth watching in this race, with millions of units shipped. But that momentum may not last: Apple has sued Samsung for patent infringement in a number of regions, including the United States, Australia, and Europe. On Aug. 9, a German court banned Samsung from distributing its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Europe, pending a hearing scheduled for Aug. 25.
This dust tastes like… dirt
Why is the iPad leaving other tablets eating its dust? When NVIDIA's
It's a point-of-sales problem. It's an expertise-at-retail problem. It's a marketing problem to consumers. It is a price-point problem. And it's a software richness of content problem.
He also said he believed the problems were getting solved, with tablet manufacturers adjusting their plans and Best Buy setting up a dedicated location called Tablet Central. (NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chip is the brains behind both the Motorola Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.)
Evidence suggests that Apple remains a clear winner in the tablet wars. The iPhone and iPod demonstrate Apple's ability to fight off competition: The iPad could make it a triple crown. The remaining horses in this race largely appear to be high-risk, high-reward long shots.
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Fool contributor Cindy Johnson owns no shares of any stock mentioned in this story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Research In Motion, Apple, and Best Buy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, NVIDIA, and Best Buy, writing puts in NVIDIA, and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.