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Digitimes Research: Lenovo starts price-cut competition for 7-, 8-inch tablets
Jim Hsiao, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei

Most 7-inch tablets' prices have dropped significantly during October with several first-tier vendors' 8GB models even dropping to as low as US$99. Meanwhile, 8-inch tablets also seen their prices decrease with stable panel supply and vendors expanding their investments in related products. Among the vendors, Lenovo was the most aggressive about price cuts.

Lenovo has taken the initiative to lower retail prices for its A7-40 entry-level 7-inch tablet to US$99 and A8-50 entry-level 8-inch tablet to US$125, down from US$149. Lenovo also announced its second-generation Yoga tablets earlier in October, according to Digitimes Research's findings.

Amazon released its fourth-generation Fire series tablets in September 2014 and introduced the first 6-inch model. The company adopted MediaTek's solutions and ODM business model for its new tablets to reduce costs.

Since the company's Fire HD 7's hardware specifications did not have any significant improvements from the previous-generation model with the price remaining at US$139, Digitimes Research believes the Fire series tablets are unlikely to continue enjoying good demand as in the past and may enter into price competition in the future since most of Amazon's cloud computing services are also available for Android and iOS platforms.

Compared to their competitors, which adopt WSVGA-level (1,024 by 800) TN panels for their devices, Acer's B1-730HD tablet uses a WXGA-level (1,280 by 800) IPS panel and priced at US$99, while Lenovo's A7-40 also adopts a similar level panel and MediaTek's quad-core A7 processor. Both tablets are expected to create strong threat against their competitors and Lenovo is also set to launch a new wave of price cuts for the year-end holidays.

As for the 8-inch tablet market, the sector is also seeing a fierce price competition as in the 7-inch one. In addition to Lenovo, Asustek has also cut the price for its ME181 from US$199 in June to US$154 recently.

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