With the dawn of the tablet industry comes a game-changing device for the world of education. The features packed into sleek electronic slates provide an amazing experience that eases the learning process for students and the teaching process for teachers and professors. They provide the perfect reboot for the yellowing textbooks in supply closets. Electronic tablet devices are a much more useful tool for today’s education system than the textbooks of old.
Compared to textbooks, tablets are a much more cost efficient solution for the purpose they would serve. Digital books on tablet devices cost considerably less than print textbooks, mainly because the cost to print the textbooks would be factored into the price tag of the print version, while, on the other hand, being absent from the price of the digital books. For example, Discovery Education offers lessons on various devices including iPads and other tablets “branded ‘Techbooks’” (“Schools Shift”). These lessons are significantly cheaper than traditional print material. The lessons “run between $38 and $55 per student for a six-year subscription. The average traditional textbook is $70 per student” (“Schools Shift”). These cost savings would become very noticeable if the tablets are used over just a few years.
Tablets themselves, because of their increase in sales, are expected to decrease in price, which allows schools to take further advantage of the devices without spending more on netbooks or laptops for every student. Gartner’s U.S. global IT forecasts show that “as sales of tablets increase, the average price of the devices in 2015 will be about half of what it [was in 2011]” (Thibodeau). Gartner made certain predictions about the growth of the tablet industry, and thus the lowering price, based on prior trends:
The Gartner report notes that in 2010, there were 17.6 million tablets, mostly Apple iPads, sold at an average price of $543 apiece. In 2011, Gartner expects 69.5 million tablets will be sold worldwide in a more competitive market. It expects an average sales price of $423. Gartner said it expects the average price of tablets will continue to decline from there, hitting $300 in 2013 and $263 in 2015, when the consultant expects that nearly 295 million tablets will be sold. (Thibodeau)
Such a sharp trend of lowering prices is caused by the popularity of tablets. They seem to be an optimal solution for those who want the power of a computer in the form of a touchscreen slate larger than a smartphone. As a result of the marketability and user-friendliness of tablets, their sales have skyrocketed. This trend can be seen compared to other electronic devices (see fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Total Cumulative Shipments in First Five Years of Product History (millions) (Morgan Stanley Research).
Because tablets have sold more units faster than any other electronic device on the market after its first five years of its history, and because the growth is projected to keep growing, prices will...