The weak back to school sales on laptops or netbooks are partly because the iPad has so greatly disrupted the market. This hot new Apple item is at this point a unique device, but it will face strong competition from Android tablets in the coming months. Meanwhile, we're already seeing Android cell phones outselling the iPhone here in the United States and abroad.
Expect to see the new Android tablets at a $200 price point versus the iPad at $500 come the Christmas selling season. Apple will have to retaliate with lower pricing to keep up -- including rolling out a rumored 7-inch version of the iPad that will be discounted.
Meanwhile, Clark has already seen netbooks priced at $169, $179 and $199. Full-feature laptops should be routinely available for under $300. Of course, it's always possible to spend more. A quick visit to DealNews.com reveals many laptops in the $450 to $600 range at this point.
The consumer champ anticipates that Black Friday will promise some of the best prices ever on technology.