Why Competitors Can't Match Apple's Price On iPad

Since Apple released the iPad last year, competitors from various corners of the tech world have trotted out alternatives. But infrastructure and savvy business moves have kept the iPad in control of the market.

Wired speaks to a market expert who says Apple is able to offer its low-end iPad at $500 because it largely cuts out the middleman in sales — selling directly to customers and through tightly-controlled authorized providers — and may use the device as something of a loss leader, making big money on software purchases.

Several heavy-hitting rivals are forced to sell more tablets through indirect retail channels and lack the app developer and entertainment service backing of Apple. Several iPad wannabes, including Motorola’s high-end Xoom tablet ($800) and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab ($600), haven’t been able to keep pace.

If you own or are in the market for a tablet, what’s the most important factor in your decision of which one to buy?

Why Nobody Can Match the iPad’s Price [Wired]