Apple's $800 Tablet: Is The Price Right?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on July 13, 2009

Rumor has it that Apple might be close to releasing its own tablet computer. A source tells me that such a product has been developed. And others are reporting that the device might become available as early as October and cost $800.

This price should ensure that the tablet doesn’t cannibalize sales of Apple’s existing products. The tablet will cost substantially less than Apple’s existing notebooks, and likely offer substantially fewer features, thus ensuring that professionals who buy Apple’s notebooks today continue to stick with them. But the tablet might attract new categories of users, such as high-school and college students who might not have been able to afford Apple’s products before, to the company’s wares.

The $800 price point would also ensure that the tablet won’t cannibalize sales of much-cheaper iPhones and iPods, which arguably offer many of the same functionalities but feature much smaller screens. Apple declined to comment on rumors.

Would people pay $800 for an Apple tablet? That’s the big question. Tablets from pioneers like Nokia haven’t taken off in a big way. And many people may opt for $250 netbooks from rivals, instead. What do you think? Would you pay the $800 price?

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Reader Comments

Rich Desmond

July 13, 2009 10:16 PM

If it had the ability to be on the Internet all the time, and connect to business networks it would be a formidable product

Rudy

July 13, 2009 10:26 PM

Absoluetely No.
Apple makes great products.
But the cost of those products are ludicrous.
They are over priced during the best of time.
At present time - forget about it.
Advantage - Asus and Acer and their funky netbooks.

greg mills

July 13, 2009 10:36 PM

Yes, I will buy one. Apple has a good track record on products that delight the user. I have $800 faith in Apple, no doubt about it. The software running on my MacBook Pro and iPhone have hidden pleasant surprises where you go, "gee they thought of this situation and that is sure elegant" rather than the Malcrosoft moment where you go, "aw S#it, what do I do now?"
There will be killer applications to go with the iPad that will make it a must have for early adopters. How about an HD video camera and editing solution on the iPad? How about HDTV in a hand held device? Yea, I will buy one, and millions of other people will too.

Fratiuc

July 13, 2009 10:38 PM

For sure I will not buy it because have Apple wrote on it.
If the specs of the product worth 800 usd, than it would be a nice product, but if I can see some marketing strategies from Apple like making some nice innovating improvements, while stripping others having in mind future products (like they done with iPhone) than for sure Apple product is not for me. I am not their marketing toy.

DrCubu

July 13, 2009 10:48 PM

Is it shiny, new, and from Apple? Then duh I'll buy it!! Seriously though, Apple's touchscreens are responsive enough to finally make tablet computer a fluid experience rather than one full of frustration. The Amazon Kindle isn't cheap at its $300 price point, and it can't do half the stuff. Another angle, is that Verizon or AT&T might pick it up to augment their netbook offerings and subsidize the price to customers in exchange for 2 year data contracts. I can't wait. I've already earmarked the money for it. It's the next big thing

Maya Dante Amihan

July 13, 2009 10:56 PM

From Apple? Of course! I've been waiting for that a whole year. Makes a perfect complement to my Macbook, iPhone and Time Capsule.

Jay Arr

July 13, 2009 10:56 PM

I might for only one reason: to replace my laptop during travel and for presentations on the road. I liked the lightweight Air, but it is too big for airline use. I want something smaller, very thin, half-page size and can accommodate my calendar, email, basic word, excel, power point or keynote. A thin detachable keyword would be good too.

david westhoff

July 13, 2009 11:05 PM

if it has ipod/iphone features[apps] w/o the phone it will be sold. screen size at 9.5 inches has advantages as does portability.

SIDHARTH VIJAYAN

July 13, 2009 11:26 PM

Yes I would definitely buy a Applet if they come up with something that I can carry around in my sling bag which is powerful enough for me get a good amount of work done on the go...

Rex Hammock

July 13, 2009 11:27 PM

Are you kidding? I know some Apple fan-boys who would pay $800 just to hold one in their hands. (I predict there will be two memory size versions so that one model can be in the $500 range.)

Depited

July 13, 2009 11:30 PM

Another retard article with strictly no content, and tries to compensate by having readers actually provide some... way to go Business Week.

Carol

July 13, 2009 11:34 PM

At 3 *TIMES* the price of other netbooks???

No thanks.

Beltway Greg

July 13, 2009 11:52 PM

No more like $200/share or maybe $260/share by Dec. 09.
Say goodbye to the Kindle; that's probably why they dropped the price. Get em while they're not. Imagine if the tablet could make and receive calls. The IPhone is the smallest netbook and the ITab would be the world's best portable P/C.
Meredith has joined the club. Maybe it's time you had some KoolAid, In the end it's all about fundamentals and it doesn't really matter who is at the helm. True, I loves me some Steve but Tim seems to be working out well. Nice action on RIMM and Palm today, eh?

Lee

July 13, 2009 11:57 PM

I have an iPhone and a MacBook Pro. I'm sure a tablet from Apple will be very cool but I can't see owning all three...

I'll definitely be to my Apple store to see it if it comes though!

Rabbi Katz

July 14, 2009 12:03 AM

Hey, if they have a Pixel Qi screen, then as a Premed student... I'll be set. Of course, they'll need a proper hand writing recognition software, but with their track record, I won't be doubting them.

andrew

July 14, 2009 12:10 AM

i think the only reason that apple would be able to pull it off is because they're apple. and also most people do not and have not seen many tablets around so they don't know they are on market... but everyone knows about what goes on with apples market so they could mass market it in a way that no other company dreams of. They could definitely pull it off and it would open up doors to college and high school students that can't afford thousands of dollars on an apple computer. and most people want one but aren't motivated by paying 3 times as much for a mac rather than a PC. This would provide affordability and the brand name of apple to people that want but can't have a mac. not only that but tablets are the future of computers that people really only see in disneyland and tv. but now it can become a stylish functional part of everyone's life.

B. Nicholson

July 14, 2009 12:16 AM

No. I would not.

patrick travis

July 14, 2009 12:25 AM

I wouldn't pay the $800 price. The mini laptops suit my needs right now. Well, maybe I need to see the Apple tablet in action first. cheap checks cheap personal checks

Bill Sodeman

July 14, 2009 12:27 AM

I'm not sure about that price... $800 is well above the average netbook's price, and a bit close to a low end MacBook's range. If this is a 3G tablet, I'd expect Verizon or AT&T to offer an Apple tablet on subsidy with a contract.

What if this isn't a Mac? It could run the iPhone version of OS X, and rely on MobileMe and the App Store for cloud storage and software.

steve

July 14, 2009 12:52 AM

With Apple known for quality product, I will absolutely by it for $800

KS

July 14, 2009 12:57 AM

Nice try but too little too late.

PotomacWill

July 14, 2009 01:22 AM

If it as well designed as Apples other products, it will sell well at $800. Everything Apple makes looks and *feels* as if it has been subjected to extensive useability testing. Every detail seems intentional.

Wonder what the tablet will do that the iPhone will not. Even though I know the price probably will drop within a year, I've been waiting for it so long I will probably be among the first to buy it.

inverse137

July 14, 2009 01:26 AM

arol
July 13, 2009 11:34 PM

At 3 *TIMES* the price of other netbooks???

No thanks.
--------
Other *NETBOOKS* aren't touchscreen.

Uriah Heep

July 14, 2009 01:28 AM

Apple tablet will use iPhone as an in/out communicator (GSM, EDGE, G3, WiFi, GPS, BlueTooth) and media in/out translator (audio and video) and will be aimed for use in car (but not only) as a center of digit integration (via USB and BT) and mobile communication with inet resourses. Tablet will support multitasking and touchscreen. New SDK for Apps, short OS, may be first step for OS licensing.

Uriah Heep

July 14, 2009 01:28 AM

Apple tablet will use iPhone as an in/out communicator (GSM, EDGE, G3, WiFi, GPS, BlueTooth) and media in/out translator (audio and video) and will be aimed for use in car (but not only) as a center of digit integration (via USB and BT) and mobile communication with inet resourses. Tablet will support multitasking and touchscreen. New SDK for Apps, short OS, may be first step for OS licensing.

charlie

July 14, 2009 02:04 AM

why Steve is copying Bill's idea of tablet, Bill saw future with touch tablet 5-6 years back. Downside was timing. Microsoft came out with tablet PC little earlier.

Matthew

July 14, 2009 02:10 AM

As an about-to-be grad student... I'd buy it today if I could. In addition to either a macbook pro or mac mini. Searchable, handwritten notes and pdf markups on a reliable efficient mac! That's worth $1000 of my paltry grad student salary. Just announce it before I do my back-to-school computer shopping next week!

Jeff Lewis

July 14, 2009 02:23 AM

"The tablet will cost substantially less than Apple’s existing notebooks"

Excuse me? The low end MacBook is $999 and it's a full laptop that can run ALL Mac software. How is $799 for a tablet that's going to be limited by virtue of using a non-standard processor (if the rumours are true) or an ARM processor (if those aren't) 'substantially cheaper'?

By that logic the iPhone is an even better bargain since it's only $199 and a cupcake is even better still since it's $1.99!

Jacksonbrowne

July 14, 2009 02:31 AM

If it runs on Iphone Software I don't see the point of having this over an Iphone. Devs would only create apps for this device as an afterthought and Iphone Apps would look horrible stretched across a 9.5 in display!

The only way I'll drop $800 is for a tablet running a fully functional mac os with at least 32gb.

I think I will most commonly this device for Internet, On Demand Video, Web Surfing (reading news, posting on social networking sites) but not for full on work email where a keyboard is necessary.

This machine will be a wonderful addition to my Macbook and Iphone! My prediction is the $800 price would be for a wifi only connection and it will be the hottest, most sought after item this holiday season.

There also may be another version with a wireless broadband modem which will require a 2 year contract with a wireless carrier and plans starting at $60.00 per month and the price would be $300-$400 but I see Apple waiting 6 months to a year to announce this product so die hard fans will be forced to go out and buy the new version. Typical Apple! They sure know how to read our minds!!!

The subsidized wireless broadband version will of course have a user agreement which will likely cap the monthlly data usage at 1-2gb making it useless for me.

Bob

July 14, 2009 02:50 AM

It would depend on battery life. It sounds like the ultimate solution to what to carry with to work on a plane, take light notes at meetings, and every where else that a lap top is just a bit too much. IF you can get 7-8 hours of use out of it before plugging it in for the night, then it is an absolute winner.

Uriah Heep

July 14, 2009 03:45 AM

Apple tablet will use (as an external unit) iPhone for in/out communication and in/out media translation. It will be aimed for use in cars (but not only) as a center of additional units digit integration (USB+BT) and screen+touch+voice interaction for control and GSM/inet communication in the trip. Multitasking, short OS, Apple's software, new SDK for mutual apps (tablet+iPhone), touchscreen+voice interaction. May be, first attempt for Apple OS licensing if car manufacture hard integration.
One can use only iPhone, add tablet to iPhone, bye iPhone & tablet. And will pay any price for such unit.
For Apple - no risk of crossing with its MacBooks.
One can count the number of cars and car drivers , as well as iPhone users.
Again Apple (thinking different) will open new market and new business on the base of previous success and technologies to be the first and No 1 on it. Nothing new ...

Rick

July 14, 2009 05:28 AM

I think it's interesting how everyone who left a comment is comparing the apple tablet concept to the netbooks, who thinks that is a fair comparison?, thats like comparing a motorola razor to an iphone.We all know today those two products are not very similar in they're capabilities.

Apple has changed the playing field with various products including the IPOD and IPHONE , and i can see the new "itablet" changing the playing field once again.The OS X on a tablet would be amazing! When you put the netbook next to a possible "itablet" with OS X they will be as similar as a motorola razor and an iphone today.

Andrys

July 14, 2009 05:39 AM

That Internet access expected would of course be another $60/mo. or $720 per year. But the total cost of $1,520 for the first year would probably be worth it to Apple enthusiasts and even others if the screen is in color and video is included.

- Andrys
kindleworld.blogspot.com

brian

July 14, 2009 05:56 AM

This could be interesting. It is classic Apple market approach. Why compete with a netbook when you can do something radically different and perhaps make it more useful?

Part e-reader with access to pdf and google's books, web surfing without the need to pan and zoom, inkwell for taking notes, a virtual keyboard for when you don't have one handy. And for less money than any current tablet.

Time will tell on this one but I think it has legs.

Joel

July 14, 2009 06:19 AM

No absolutely not for me. I used to buy Apple because they were reliable, fast and virtually maintenance-free, however following the migration to Intel's faster but less reliable processors I find that apple's kit is just does not have the quality it used to. not forgetting of course that the Apple tablet will most likely be based on Intel's Atom; a processor that is best suited for the smartphone and netbook market - and nowhere near the processing power to smoothly run OSX. However, we can but wait and see

Dharmesta

July 14, 2009 07:02 AM

iam a graduate student, i am gonna buy it if many text books are available in digital form, if not i will stick with my notebook. apple had better make sure that the design is appealing to students

oslo dude

July 14, 2009 08:27 AM

If it has at least a 250GB SSD hard drive and at least 1.8 GHz processor with iChat, bluetooth, 802.11n, USB, full OS X implementation, then yeah, I will totally buy it as a portable supplement to my macbook pro. I could see using it in bed, on the road, in the bathroom, at tradeshow meetings, in the air, on the train... everywhere!

Just cancelled my order for a Dell Inspiron 10v mini in hopes of receiving either a Google Chrome OS netbook or a Apple Tablet PC later this year!

oslo dude

July 14, 2009 08:27 AM

If it has at least a 250GB SSD hard drive and at least 1.8 GHz processor with iChat, bluetooth, 802.11n, USB, full OS X implementation, then yeah, I will totally buy it as a portable supplement to my macbook pro. I could see using it in bed, on the road, in the bathroom, at tradeshow meetings, in the air, on the train... everywhere!

Just cancelled my order for a Dell Inspiron 10v mini in hopes of receiving either a Google Chrome OS netbook or a Apple Tablet PC later this year!

Ciccio

July 14, 2009 09:17 AM

As long as other netbooks are using Windows OS and Mac Tablet uses Mac OS, there is no valid comparison between them. We are talking about different leagues. I agree that Mac products are somehow overpriced, but the value for money is there. Some Windows tablets, netbooks and laptops are really cheap, but thay are basically crap.

stefn

July 14, 2009 09:30 AM

It won't be $800; it will be free with a Kindlish data plan.

Sahi

July 14, 2009 11:42 AM

A decent win-tel tablet costs around $2000. Add another 500-1000 dollar apple tax to that.

Kevinkris

July 14, 2009 11:58 AM

Yes. If they subsidize and make it 199$ if you take 3G internet card from AT&T or Verizon or Sprint.

It makes sense for Apple, Wireless provider.

Consumer anyway is spoofed..

Steve

July 14, 2009 12:57 PM

I'll buy one for sure since it's from Apple, then figure out what I can do with it.

kongrit

July 14, 2009 12:58 PM

I am very interested. I have everything ready, and would very much appreciate it.
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Person

July 14, 2009 12:59 PM

I'm still trying to figure out how this is any different from an iPod Touch or a MacBook. I mean, an iPhone is practically a tablet PC already. Intuition also happens to tell me that the specs will be horrible. No phone plus horrible specs means that this will be cannibalized by other Apple products (not to mention competitor counterparts for less than half the price). This is a silly marketing strategy on Apple's part. Just get with the program Apple. We want small, cheap laptops.

Anonaly

July 14, 2009 01:32 PM

I would spend $2000 on a 50" multi touch kit - an SF based tech company called Demand Evolution just released their kits AND their 30" LCD multi-touch screen last week....

http://www.youtube.com/demandevolution#play/all/uploads-all/0/u-2bdoYzZvY

AJ

July 15, 2009 02:38 AM

This is the future of not just mobile computing, but all computing. Apple knows it. I will definitely pay 150% of the fair price for the 1st real step in the direction of ultimate user-friendliness, especially since I know first-hand that Apple can do no wrong in the quality of their products. Eventually, any screen that doesn't have touch-capability, be it 2" mobile phone or 100" TV, will be as laughable as 8-track tapes. I know that some of you are clutching your 8-track players right now. I have one thing to say to you. Live in the now, Grandpa!

Megan

October 26, 2009 07:00 PM

Nearly everything Apple touches turns to gold these days so it wouldn't surprise me if this really took off. Time will tell!

Megan
Joint Health Specialist
Top Joint Supplements

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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