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New study shows tablet affordability gap between countries; iPad impacts results

by David Needle

November 1 2012

The iPad is too expensive for many in India, but there are many low-cost alternatives.
The iPad is too expensive for many in India, but there are many low-cost alternatives.

A tablet’s retail price is readily available, but a new study has some interesting insight as to how many weeks of average household income it takes to buy one of these devices.

ABI Research looked at “tablet affordability” across 22 countries in October and found pricing skews up where the higher priced iPad is available.
Of the countries analyzed, the lowest average selling price (ASP) for tablets was in India ($340), where Apple has simply been out of financial reach for most.  ABI notes that lower-priced and locally made slates are a larger part of India’s tablet mix. 

By contrast, Chile has the highest ASP for tablets at more than $710 each. The iPad is popular in Chile, though it’s sold through authorized resellers instead of directly from Apple, which has resulted in higher prices compared to markets where Apple has a dedicated local and online presence.

As for percentage of income, ABI applied Gross National Income and average household size to each country to determine how many weeks of average household income it takes to purchase a media tablet in a given country. 

In the Ukraine, for example, it takes about 3.33 weeks to afford the average tablet while in the United States, it takes only 0.2 weeks. 

These figures could fall even further heading into the holiday selling season when discounts tend to be available. There could be further price erosion next year when  lower-priced tablets are sure to be released due to competitive pressures and manufacturers able to price lower due to economies of scale.

“Looking ahead, the push toward more affordable tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7, and the recently announced Apple iPad mini are expected to see the ASP drop even further,” said Orr. 

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