The tablet market is going to get a lot more competitive this Christmas holiday season with companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other OEMs fighting for market share and profits.
Apple will reportedly unveil the iPad mini during a special event next week, while Microsoft will launch a few days after Apple’s event its first ever tablet, the Surface, whose pricing scheme has already been leaked. Google will introduce a new Nexus 7 model, while Amazon has recently launched a whole new Kindle Fire family. Add to that the plethora of OEMs that are going to unveil new Windows 8/RT and/or Android tablets in the coming months and you’ll end up with a huge variety of devices hitting stores just in time for Christmas.
Speaking of Android devices, we have one more contender that’s going to be soon unveiled, Best Buy’s own such device the Insignia Flex. Reuters has learned from a “source familiar with the matter” that the Insignia Flex will retail for $239 to $259 and that it will hit Best Buy stores on November 11 (and it will remain a Best Buy exclusive).
According to the same source, the Insignia Flex will sport a 9.7-inch display, 1GHz dual-core processor, front-facing camera, 10-hour battery life and it will weigh 1.45 pounds. The device will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. Apparently Best Buy will not pull an Amazon and release its own highly customized Android version, which means Android will not see yet another fork that may further confuse buyers and irritate Google.
But why is Best Buy pulling such a move? Sure, a 10-inch budget friendly tablet sounds interesting, but how is Best Buy exactly planning to make money off this thing? Amazon and Google are selling their budget 7-inch tablets at cost, hoping to cash in on the digital content shopping sprees of the owners of such devices.
Moreover, the iPad mini is coming, an even more important threat to any tablet out there, especially Android budget ones. Oh yes, and Best Buy plans to keep selling other tablets too, so you’ll be able to totally ignore the Insignia Flex and go for a different device altogether.