Amazon did more than just throw down the gauntlet when it announced its $200 Kindle Fire tablet, the e-tailer may have also scared off some of the competition altogether. Oddly enough, the Kindle Fire might actually help Microsoft increase its presence in the mobile market, as OEMs look to Windows 8-based slates in order to avoid a price war among Android tablets.
News and rumor site DigiTimes says Hewlett Packard and Dell are two of several PC vendors planning to invest more heavily in Windows 8 tablets rather than try to compete with low cost Android slates. For this strategy to work, OEMs will try to target business users, somewhat similar to what Research In Motion tried to do with its BlackBerry tablet.
Those who are sticking with Android are finding they have no choice but to cut prices. Motorola, for example, recently announced a special Family Edition version of its Xoom tablet for $379 at Best Buy. It's the same as a regular Xoom, but with a collection of pre-loaded software.