£250 The Price at Which Tablets Go Mass-market

£250 is the price point where the tablet market truly takes off and becomes more than a niche product, according to new research from YouGov’s latest TabletTrack study.

Using price modelling analysis amongst 2,000 nationally representative adults who do not own a tablet, YouGov found that the optimal price point for tablets is £250 amongst hot prospects. Lukewarm prospects and current rejectors of tablets will require prices in the £150 to £200 price range before they become more interested in purchase. The methodology used for this analysis was exactly the same as that which, two years ago, predicted e-reader sales taking off at the £100 price point. The Amazon Kindle currently retails at a base price of £111.

The research also reveals that approximately one in 12 tablet owners bought a tablet instead of, or to replace a desktop computer, laptop or other computer, with 11 per cent of Samsung Galaxy Tab and 7 per cent of iPad owners doing so.

Though 76 per cent bought a tablet in addition to a computer, YouGov believes the proportion of consumers choosing to buy tablets substituting for laptops, desktop computers and netbooks is expected. The launch of newer, cheaper tablets throughout 2011 will further boost this increase.

13 per cent of UK adults are seriously considering buying a tablet, with over two thirds of these (67 per cent) already knowing which they will get, indicating that these prospects are serious in their intentions. Of those looking to buy tablets in future, 16 per cent want one as a substitute to a laptop and 9 per cent as a substitute to a netbook.

“At the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, earlier this year, over 80 tablets were announced for launch later in 2011,” says Russell Feldman, YouGov’s associate director for technology and telecoms consulting. “YouGov expects most of these tablets to fail to achieve widespread distribution. However, our analysis clearly demonstrates that if the pricing is right and the device is marketed at the correct audience, then there is significant latent demand.”

YouGov’s TabletTrack study surveys tablet usage, attitudes and satisfaction, quarterly. The next wave of the tracker begins in May with a report due in June 2011.