Smartphone and tablet technology, in general, is evolving at a rapid pace. With every high-end device, high-resolution displays have become the norm. Single-core devices don’t make the cut and with the introduction of quad-core powerhouses, even dual-core processors are considered “old.” If you live in the US, you’re probably stuck with your “old” device for the next 2 years. We’ve already seen how the Brazilian government is forcing carriers to sell smartphones at full price without contract, and we’re slowly seeing the trend of Americans leaning towards prepaid connections to avoid the postpaid contract hassle.
While the subsidized rates are a huge help ($200 for a Samsung Galaxy S3? I’ll take it!), with faster and more powerful devices releasing almost every 3 months, getting tied to a 2 year contract is just too long. This was especially true in the case of tablets, which required you to get another data plan, which meant an additional 2-year contract for a device that will be out-dated very soon.
Verizon Wireless is the first network carrier that that has decided to stop selling their tablets at subsidized rates, and in turn, requiring 2-year commitments from consumers. Granted, not everyone will consider this good news, as you will now need to shell out at least $500 to get your hands on the latest Android tablet. If you use your tablet on-the-go, you’ll still need to account for the additional cost of a no-contract 4G LTE data plan.
As an example of the “inflated” prices, a Motorola Droid XyBoard 10.1 will set you back $629.99 for the 16GB version, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 priced at $549.99, and with the cheapest of the lot coming in at $369.99 for a Certified Pre-owned Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2. You can take a look at the full list of tablets offered by Verizon here.
The Google Nexus 7 has certainly changed our perception of high-end tablets and the associated cost with buying one. And things will only be getting better if the rumors of the $249 10.1″ quad-core slate, Nexus 10, are true. But until then, if you want to get your hands on an Android tablet, be prepared to open up your wallets, at least, if you’re shopping at Verizon. Whether other network carriers such as AT&T, that also offer tablets at subsidized rates, will follow this trend, is yet to be known.
What are your thoughts? Yay for no-contract tablets? Or nay for full-priced tablets?