Citing Taiwan-based supply chain makers, technology news website Digitimes claims that vendors will increasingly adopt plastic chassis for their entry-level tablets in the coming year, primarily in a bid to reduce production costs and retail prices.
“Since prices for some tablets may drop to only about US$99 in the second half, adoption of plastic chassis will be a viable option to significantly reduce costs,” reads the report.
This news is likely to be welcomed by all budget Android tablet vendors, most of whom have struggled to compete with Amazon’s $159 Kindle Fire and Google’s $199 Nexus 7 over the last year.
Both Amazon and Google have been able to charge much less for the hardware because they make significant margins from digital content sales, something which is simply not possible at the likes of Acer, Archos, Asus, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.
However, recent reports would suggest that tablet hardware costs can’t come down much further, with Amazon revealing that a $99 Kindle Fire would be too cheap, even for them.
“We are already at the lowest price points possible for that hardware," said a spokesman at the time.