Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said in a recent interview that their recent cost reductions on the Tegra 3 processor will enable manufacturers to launch Android tablets with $199 pricetags, and that we'll see them as soon as this summer. As Huang explains, this can seriously lower the barrier for entry.
“We took out $150 in build materials, things like expensive memory. At $199, you can just about buy a tablet at a 7-Eleven.”
$200 is a sweet price point, as proven by the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire, and now others, like the ZTE Optik, are trying to follow up. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more decently powerful Android tablets that also happen to be reasonably priced, but maintaining quality at those lower tiers is going to be a challenge.
Though this is ultimately great news for the short term, Hsung had said in a private correspondence to employees that their Kepler GPU which launched recently on desktop graphics cards would be making the leap to mobile eventually. Other commentary from Huang in this interview similarly shows he's eyeballing proper tablet PCs, rather than continuing on with Android..
“Android hasn’t developed as I’d hoped. For many people, though, work is still the primary reason to have a computer. They want Windows to work well, they want Outlook to work well. A tablet running Windows 8 with Tegra could be very nice.”
He's got a point - do Android tablets really have much of a future with "real" computers being whittled down to comparable sizes? From what I've seen Intel enabling, I don't think so.