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Sony Tablet S Gains Second US Price Cut

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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Sony has once again lowered the price of its Tablet S device in the US, but will the prices also drop in Europe?

Sony has revealed that its 9.4-inch Tablet S is getting a $100 (£64) price cut in the United States, lowering the price of the 16GB model to $400 (£257) and the 32GB model to $500 (£322).

This price cut comes after a previously issued $50 (£32) price cut on 15 December, which was done in an apparent attempt to spur holiday sales as the tablet market becomes increasingly competitive. The latest move has spurred hopes of possible cuts in the UK as well, where the devices are relatively expensive.

Meanwhile tablets from Toshiba, BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) and Lenovo have also slashed prices as they struggle to compete with Apple’s market-dominating iPad tablets.

Tablet Entry

The Android-powered Sony Tablet S and Tablet P devices offer a 9.4-inch touchscreen display, an Nvidia Tegra 2 mobile processor and infrared technology, which allows the tablet to act as a remote control for multiple home entertainment components such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc players, cable and satellite boxes, and is compatible with the Media Remote app which allows you to control Sony devices, including Bravia televisions, through Wi-Fi technology.

The price adjustments in the United States come as businesses are increasingly ready to adopt tablets and find their IT budgets in better shape than years prior.

Nearly three quarters of US small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) with fewer than 1,000 employees have plans to purchase tablets over the next 12 months, with the Apple iPad being the most considered tablet among those firms planning an upcoming purchase, according to IT research firm The NPD Group’s third quarter SMB Technology Monitor.

SMB Uptake

Among the SMBs surveyed, 73 percent said they plan to purchase tablets over the next 12 months, up from 68 percent in the NPD Group’s second quarter survey. An overwhelming number, 90 percent, of all firms anticipate spending the same amount or more on tablets over the next 12 months.

The average investment an SMB will spend on tablets is projected to exceed $21,000 over the next 12 months, but depending on company size, the intent and amount spent changes drastically, the report indicated.

The iPad commands 83 percent of the US tablet market share today, but that number will drop to 68 percent by 2014 as the device cedes share to Android, Microsoft Windows 8 and other tablets, according to a recent report by eMarketer. The report predicted that 33.7 million Americans would use a tablet device at least monthly by the end of this year, a boost of 158.6 percent over last year. The number of tablet users will rise to almost 90 million by 2014.