Well, it appears that someone in the tablet industry watched what happened last month with the HP TouchPad and may have taken notes. Engadget is reporting, and Fusion Garage has confirmed, that the Grid10’s previously announced prices of $499 for their 16-gigabyte WiFi model, and $599 for the 16-gigabyte 3G/WiFi models were reduced to $299 and $399 respectively. Reportedly, pre-orders placed before the price decrease have been adjusted accordingly. On the bad news side the shipping date was pushed back to October 1 from September 15.
Some of you will remember the unique ad campaign that Fusion Garage ran prior to their product announcement on August 16.
I’m hoping this is a sign that some of these tablet manufacturers are beginning to understand the current tablet marketplace. Apple has the brand, marketing and reputations for quality to allow it to charge top-tier pricing for devices like its iPad. Newcomers to the market need to either launch with a product that is demonstratively superior to the iPad or at a significant discount. I believe the TouchPad would have sold considerably better if HP had priced it at $299 and would be on its way to building a user base and developer interest in webOS.
All that being said, a spokesperson for Fusion Garage told Engadget that they had intended to launch at the reduced price all along and had announced the higher pricing because of business negotiations. Let’s hope they’re better at building a tablet than they are at spinning a news story.