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Retrevo Study: Apple needs to price tablet at $600 or less to attract PC users

The mythical Apple tablet is back in the news again, this time in the results of a new study that shows where the pricing "sweet spot" will need to be for Apple to attract users who would traditionally buy an inexpensive PC netbook instead.

Consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo.com surveyed 753 Americans distributed across age, gender, income, and location, asking them what they'd be willing to pay for an Apple tablet computer. While 68% of Mac users said that they'd willingly drop $600 or more on a tablet, only 36% of PC users said that they'd pay that much.

What does that tell Apple? If they want to continue to make inroads into the PC market, particularly in the netbook sector, the new device should have a price point around $600 so that price is not an issue for PC users. Retrevo's Gadgetology study also noted that Apple has already lost potential sales to early adopters like iPhone users, 59% of whom said they either already own or plan to purchase a netbook this year.

Not only is pricing of the Apple tablet key to making it a runaway success, but the study results show that Apple needs to get this device out the door as quickly as possible to capture the slower adopters who are planning on making a netbook purchase in the next year.

The study does not answer the question on how many dissatisfied netbook owners would make the switch to an Apple tablet, but we can only hope that Retrevo asks that question soon.

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