We knew that Best Buy was planning to slash the price of the Android-based HTC Flyer tablet by $200 (to $299), but who knew they were planning to slash it even further, to the same fire sale price as the HP TouchPad ($99)? No one, not even Best Buy, as it was a simple mistake.
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Originally, Best Buy had said they were going to cut the price of the HTC Flyer tablet to $299, starting Oct. 1. The HTC Flyer tablet is a 7-inch Android device with 16GB of storage, a 1.5GHz single-core Qualcomm SnapDragon processor, and Android 2.3 (not the tablet-optimized Honeycomb).
However, a slip, perhaps even a Freudian one, saw the HTC Flyer tablet priced slashed all the way down to $99 on Thursday.
Since HP “gave up” on its TouchPad and brought the price all the way down to $99 for a 16GB model, it wasn’t out of the question that Best Buy might do this, but it turned out to be just a mistake. Best Buy has corrected its site and also said that it will not be honoring any of the orders made at the erroneous price.
Best Buy said, “The HTC Flyer (SKU 2390524) was incorrectly priced at $99.99 on Bestbuy.com and in some of our stores. This error has been corrected on Bestbuy.com and our stores have posted a correction notice at their locations. Bestbuy.com orders that were placed at the $99.99 price will be canceled. Best Buy will not be price matching the $99.99 price on the Flyer, nor will the HTC Flyer be available for $99.99.
“Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to correct any pricing errors that we find in our stores. We apologize for the confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.”
And no, don’t try screaming or whining about it. These sorts of errors do happen, and rarely (if ever) do the problematic prices get honored.
Amazon just launched its Kindle Fire Android tablet, with a low, low price of $199, and the markdowns of other devices such as the HTC Flyer tablet are seen as a response to the new price point.
Although the Kindle Fire is missing some things (no cameras of any sort, for one, and sporting a forked version of Android 2.3), it’s clear that Amazon.com is serious about that price. It’s losing money on the hardware alone, and only making a slight amount when “app purchases” are included in the estimate.
But Amazon.com has something that no other tablet maker has: a huge Internet retail store that it wants you to buy at, and that’s more important than a profit on the Kindle Fire itself. No other vendor can match that, so the Fire might finally make the tablet race a two-horse one against the iPad.