The really cheap Android tablets are coming

Posted by Guy Wright

Tablets are about to take over the world - but you probably already knew that.

What you might not know is that there are truckloads of incredibly cheap, Chinese tablets already beginning to flood the markets. Tablets that you can order today for less than $70.

Everyone is talking about the tablet wars. Apple iPads versus Microsoft’s new Surface versus everyone else. The pundits talk about the pricing sweet spot – is it $300? $500? More? Less? Personally I think the pricing sweet spot is going to be closer to $80 or even lower.

I ran across a Chinese import site that sells all sorts of tablets you never heard of, and their prices are amazing. For example there is the JXD S18 for $46.49, the Q88 for $69.01, the P722 for $71.06, the Gpad A13 for $69.01, and on and on. There are 32 Android 4.0 or higher tablets on the site all for under $100! And they feature free shipping.

The reasons these tablets are so inexpensive is because they are based on ARM processors (not necessarily the latest or greatest versions either) and they’ll be running Android (again, not necessarily the latest flavors). And I would be surprised if any licensing fees will ever be paid to anyone.

They are also using multi-function components developed by other innovators over the past few years. WiFi, Bluetooth, and RF all on one tiny PCB for one tiny price, cameras, touch screens, etc - all off-the-shelf components these days.

Are people going to regret buying one of these cheap, Chinese tablets? Some people will. But I think the majority of buyers are going to look at a $500 Microsoft Surface or a $600 Apple iPad and then look at something like the $70.82 Chuwi V17 and guess what? They are going to buy the $70 model.

And guess what else. Unless the thing stops working (which it probably will when it has been dropped or banged around a few times) most people simply won’t care what the brand name is or whether or not they can install the latest version of Android.

People buy tablets because they are cool (the tablets that is, not necessarily the people who buy them). They don’t really use them to be more productive. They aren’t designing hydro-electric plants or rendering complex 3D animations. They aren’t doing spreadsheets or even serious word processing beyond 140 character tweets.

Rather, they use them to watch movies, surf the Web, check their email, update their Facebook page, play games, and tweet. Sometimes they use them to shop or check their bank balance or get maps, but that’s pretty much it.

And if that’s what the majority of tablet owners want to do with their devices then one of these imports aught to be just fine – and they’re ten times cheaper than a Surface or iPad.