Report: Tablet buyers want to spend $500 or less; a challenge for Apple's iPad?

Apple's iPad, which has been a huge boon for the company, will be facing some stiff competition from other tablet makers and may be forced to lower its prices if it wants to maintain its dominance in the market, says a new report.

The report, "Apple's iPad: Users, buying intentions and price expectations," from research firm Strategy Analytics, said that some two-thirds of 4,800 consumers considering buying one in the U.S. and Europe, expected to pay less than $500 or 500 Euros. The least expensive iPad available in the U.S., a WiFi version, costs $499. It said that competitors more sensitive to price may have an edge in attracting tablet buyers and could erode Apple's market share.

"Apple has had a clear run at the tablet market for the last few months," says David Mercer, Principal Analyst and the report author. "As tablets from other major brands begin to arrive we expect price competition to heat up, and many consumers tell us they are waiting for lower-priced devices."

The iPad has been a very popular device for viewing video, and has scored high on reader approval ratings. Increasingly, pay-TV operators, like Comcast, see the iPad as a potential ally in building customer loyalty by including it in their TV Everywhere strategies.

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