NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang in a media conversation Friday anticipated that the price of quad-core tablets would drop around the spring. Tablets running the Tegra 3 chip would reach $299 within "a couple quarters," he said with Engadget and others in attendance. He didn't say who would reach the milestone or what components it would take.
The cost marker would come faster than for the Tegra 2. Its first wave of tablets was not only expensive but carried a large premium over the faster iPad 2, such as the $800 Motorola Xoom. Prices dropped several weeks later, but prices still have trouble cracking $299. The Archos 80 G9 only just reaches the target, while Acer's Iconia Tab A100 is officially more expensive at $330.
The faster pace could be the hint of broader price drops in the tablet industry outside of those using Tegra chips. Tablets like Amazon's Kindle Fire are already down to $199, but these are either sold at a loss or make major sacrifices in quality. It may push those making high-end tablets, such as Apple, HTC, and Samsung, to move from their common $499 benchmarks towards lower prices.