iPad competition could lower prices

Google chrome tabletJust over a week ago, Apple wowed the world with its "magical and revolutionary" iPad tablet, which aims to change the way you interact with media. Well, two days before the iPad was revealed, Google posted some very interesting images and video of what a Google Chrome Tablet, which could compete with the iPad, might look like. It's still early in the game -- this isn't a real product -- but the initial mockups look like a Google Tablet could give Apple and other large companies a run for their money.

You might ask why it's so important to have new players in the relatively old field of tablets. It's simple, really. Not only are many companies hoping that Apple will save the print industry with their iPad, but it's already being used to raise the prices of ebooks, and act that led to Amazon pulling practically every title from big book publisher Macmillan over the weekend. Eventually, the parties caved and Macmillan books are back on Amazon's virtual shelves, but it was incredibly clear that Apple's entrance into the tablet and ebook marketplace shook things up. Whether you think higher book prices are a good thing or not, it's clear that the power to price ebooks currently rests on the shoulders of two companies; neither of which can be said to have the best interests of your wallet in mind.

Google isn't the only company said to be working on a tablet device to compete with the Apple iPad; HP and others have shown off similar slate devices that will likely be available later this year.

Not only will new slate-style tablets mean that consumers will have greater choice where they get their ebooks -- and at what price -- but also how much they will have to pay for the actual tablet. As competition has allowed netbooks to compete on features or on price, adding more tablets to the mix means better features, more choices and lower prices for consumers.

With the rumored cost to make the cheapest iPad just, $270 and selling it for $499, there's plenty of room for competition to bring down the cost of the iPad. Combine this with the open nature of the Google Chrome OS that could power a Google Tablet and other devices running Windows 7, it's a clear win for consumers on all fronts.
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