NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Best Buy (BBY) says it will start selling competitively-priced Android tablets in the next few weeks. Normally, I'd welcome that move as healthy competition. But, this week - and especially next - I'm guessing that the retailer's going to have a difficult time getting much traction in the press or its stores.
Best Buy will begin selling a new Android tablet called the Insignia Flex. It announced that last week. The company published lots of specs for the devices, including a 9.7-inch (iPad-sized) touchscreen and Google's (GOOG) Android 4.0 operating system, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The device goes on sale starting Nov. 11 and will be a Best Buy exclusive
What Best Buy has neglected to announce, so far, is the price. I'm guessing it wanted to wait awhile to see what else was happening in the marketplace. Right off the bat, I can think of two things it's going to be watching - the probable Apple (AAPL) iPad Mini and the slew of Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets. There are lots of big announcements set for next week.
We don't yet know the price of all the Windows 8/RT selections or the iPad Mini. But, if all the rumors prove correct, an Apple tablet with a starting price somewhere between $250 and $300 could be problematic for a successful Insignia release. When customers walk into a Best Buy store next month, what do you think their eyes, hearts and especially wallets will be drawn towards?Reuters is reporting that Best Buy might set the Insignia's price in the $239-to-$259 range. Add to that the popular Nexus 7 and Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire tablets selling for $199 each and you have to wonder whether Best Buy should think about lowering that price - if it finally decides to sell the device at all. --Written by Gary Krakow in New York. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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