iPad: Can rivals compete on price?
Interesting analysis by TechRepublic on how Apple’s own retail stores provide an edge in pricing compared to HTC, Samsung and host of other Tablet vendors.
Takeaway: The biggest disappointment of nearly every promising competitor to the Apple iPad has been the price tag. Learn the one trump card that allows Apple to out-price rival tablets.
More specifically, the combination of Apple’s 300+ retail stores and its online Apple Store means that the company sells a huge chunk of its iPads directly to its customers. While Apple has cut distribution deals with Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and a few others, those are mostly market-share grabs and ways to help spread the iPad’s marketing message.
Apple appears to carefully control the inventory it sends to these retail partners. Even during the holidays, there weren’t typically huge stacks of iPads on a pallet in the aisle at Best Buy or Wal-Mart like other popular consumer electronics such as the Nintendo Wii or the Xbox 360. The iPads seemed to be sprinkled among the various retailers throughout the holidays. Meanwhile, the Apple retail stores were loaded with an almost unlimited supply of iPads, so if you wanted to make sure you got one your best bet was to go there (or order one from Apple’s Web store). One estimate was that Apple sold 8.8 iPads per hour per retail store on Black Friday.
was utterly impossible for Samsung to hit — unless it was selling the tablet directly to consumers