Just a matter of weeks after being introduced to the market, the HP Touchpad tablet is already $50 cheaper. HP is touting the discount as an "instant rebate," which brings the price of the device to as low as $450 (16 GB). The 32 GB model is now $550.
The early price drop signifies the troubles manufacturers have been having with Android tablets. Against expectations, they have not really been able to take on the iPad as strongly as Android phones have competed against the iPhone.
The issue is that unlike with smartphones, consumers prefer to have a tablet experience that is streamlined. There are so many different Android tablets available now, each with different specs and apps, making it confusing for consumers.
The iPad, meanwhile, is a known quantity and is a much more appealing platform for mobile developers. The number of tablet-exclusive Android apps is woefully small, while the iPad's library is so large now, it seems almost silly to download an iPhone-designed app for the tablet device.
Beyond all that, no Android tablet has really managed to wow anyone. The Galaxy Tab, the Xoom, the Touchpad, etc, have all received warm reviews, but no one is going crazy over any of them.
Unlike phones, tablets are a luxury item, and manufacturers are finding it is a very different market. Although Android is starting to make inroads, especially in countries outside the US, the battle against iPad is a very tough one.