Electronics manufacturer Sony announced its 9.4-inch Tablet S is getting a $100 price cut, lowering the price of the 16GB model to $400 and the 32GB model to $500. Sony had previously issued a $50 price cut on Dec. 15 in an apparent attempt to spur holiday sales as the tablet market becomes increasingly competitive. Toshiba, BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion and Lenovo have also slashed prices on their tablets as they struggle to compete with Apple's market-dominating iPad tablets.
The Android-powered Sony Tablet S and Tablet P devices offer a 9.4-inch touch-screen display, an Nvidia Tegra 2 mobile processor and infrared technology, which allows the tablet to act as a remote control for multiple home entertainment components such as TVs, Blu-ray disc players, and cable and satellite boxes. It is compatible with the Media Remote app, which allows users to control Sony devices, including Bravia televisions, through WiFi technology.
The price adjustments come as businesses are increasingly ready to adopt tablets and find their IT budgets in better shape than years prior. Nearly three quarters of U.S. small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 1,000 employees have plans to purchase tablets over the next 12 months, with the iPad being the most considered tablet, according to IT research firm The NPD Group's third-quarter SMB Technology Monitor.
Among the SMBs surveyed, 73 percent said they plan to purchase tablets over the next 12 months, up from 68 percent in the NPD Group's second-quarter survey. An overwhelming number, 90 percent, of all firms anticipate spending the same amount or more on tablets over the next 12 months. The average investment an SMB will spend on tablets is projected to exceed $21,000 over the next 12 months, but depending on company size, the intended amount spent changes drastically, the report indicated.
The iPad commands 83 percent of the U.S. tablet market share today, but that number will drop to 68 percent by 2014 as the device cedes share to Android, Microsoft Windows 8 and other tablets, according to a recent report by eMarketer. The report predicted that 33.7 million Americans will use a tablet device at least monthly by the end of this year, a boost of 158.6 percent over last year. The number of tablet users will rise to almost 90 million by 2014.