Updates to this story
Cherrypal has launched the CherryPad Android tablet for the low price of $188, one of many cheap slates set to hit the market due to an oversupply of components.
The CherryPad features a 7-inch resistive touchscreen with a resolution of 800x480, slightly smaller than the iPad's 9.7-inches, but exactly the same size as the second generation iPad expected to be released early next year. It's powered by an 800MHz Samsung ARM11 processor, somewhat slower than the iPad, but quite reasonable for the price. Cherrypal claims it is capable of 3D acceleration. Picture at the bottom of the story.
It also features 256MB of RAM, 2GB of Flash storage, and, like most Android devices, a microSD card slot, but the company did not specify how much these could hold. It also comes with standard WiFi and USB connectibility, and a battery life of up to 8 hours.
But the point is we're going to see a lot of "sub-iPad" cheap tablets.
An oversupply of components means manufacturers are going for outright opportunism.
The predicted tablet boom is the perfect chance to get rid of all the stock sitting around. You'd think a component manufacturer would slow production lines during severe oversupply, but a source close to the matter tells us that's often not the case. They keep churning.
The source close to TechEye told us that the entire industry is, quite literally, taking any chance it can get to flog its kit. They need to offload parts to clear stock.
We can expect a slew of cheaper tablets to come off the back of the oversupply and the craze the iPad kick started. They won't be "iPad killers" though many of them will claim to be direct competitors.