Sony appears to be joining the list of tablet vendors that have gone up against the might of the Apple iPad and ended up bloodied and bruised.
Not to mention the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and loss of face.
Discounts & More Discounts
First, in mid-December Sony announced a $50 discount for its recently launched S Tablet.
The discount was touted as a limited time promotion that would end on December 31.
Apparently, that $50 discount wasn’t enough to get the crowds excited (remember, only when HP brought prices of its now retired TouchPad to $99 did the masses buy the tablet).
Now, Sony has not only not ended the $50 discount on December 31 but tagged on an additional $50 discount for a total of $100 off.
This means, Sony’s 16GB S Tablet will now cost $400, instead of the $500 it was charging a few weeks back.
The 32GB version is also $100 cheaper as you can see from the below screenshot of the Sony U.S. web site:
On August 25, the wise ones at the extraordinary SearchIndia.com blog had recommended a price of no more than $399 for the 16GB S tablet.
Price cut after poor sales a la Samsung, Motorola, Blackberry Playbook leave a poor impression with consumers who look for higher discounts. We’d made other recommendations too regarding the S Tablet but the putzheads at Sony ignored our points and are paying the price now in shame and poor sales.
Of course readers of the fine SearchIndia.com blog are not surprised in the least at Sony’s fate.
Back in August, without mincing words the wise souls at SearchIndia.com wrote that Sony was committing harakiri by pricing the S Tablet at $499.
S Tablet – Poor Response
There’s little reason to believe that Sony S Tablets are selling well.
The product, a me-too follow-on to the wildly successful iPad, has no gee-whiz feature that makes it a compelling purchase.
During our frequent visits to stores in the U.S., we have never seen anyone express interest in the S Tablet.
Au contraire, consumers are always flocked around the iPad 2 tablet.
Launched in September, the S tablet (above) has 9.4-inch touchscreen, weighs 1.33 lbs, features front and rear cameras, supports micro USB interface and SD card and runs on Android 3.1.
Apple’s entry-level 16GB iPad 2 costs $499 and continues to sell well.
Data from market researcher IDC show Apple dominated worldwide tablet shipments in 3Q11 with 11.1 million units, up from 9.3 million units in 2Q11. That represents a 61.5% worldwide market share.
Fellow Tablet Sufferers
Sony is not the only tablet vendor that’s struggling to gain traction for its devices.
Other players like RIM/Blackberry, Samsung, HP and Motorola couldn’t arouse consumer interest in their tablets despite price cuts.
The TouchPad tablet gave up the ghost a few months back and only a fire-sale price of $99 enabled the company to get rid of the unsold inventory that had piled up at stores and HP warehouses.
IDC sees Apple having its best-ever iPad quarter in 4Q11, and expects the tablet to gain more traction outside of the consumer market in 2012, particularly in enterprise and education markets.