Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Ernest
iPads have long stood the test of time as maintaining their status as the defacto standard of what’s considered a good tablet. However, with contenders such as Samsung stepping up into the ring with competitive products, why are Android tablets still cheaper than iPads?
Android tablets are cheaper than iPads for the following reasons:
- Android tablets have multiple options in varying budget categories
- Apple charges the Apple Tax when you purchase an iPad
- Consumers demand iPads much more than Android tablets
- Apple provides longer software support
- The iPad is arguably the best tablet produced
In this article, we’re going to go into all the exact reasons why Android tablets end up being cheaper than iPads.
Android tablets come in from a wide variety of budget and high-end categories compared to iPads. It is that simple, there are only a few iPad models released each year compared to the hundreds of tablets that are present in the market each year.
And, of course, with a greater variety, comes a much larger budget category that Apple, or any single company for that matter; cannot compete with. For instance, Amazon’s Fire 7 sells for less than 40$ and is an excellent Android tablet for the cost.
On the other hand, even the cheapest iPad is priced at $329. However, it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two. The iPad is much better in almost every aspect compared to the Fire 7. But, for those who wish to use the tablet as a simple media consumption device or for a POS system, a cheap Android tablet makes a lot of sense.
In essence, iPads themselves are not expensive for their price. But, it is the availability of multiple Android tablets at much cheaper rates with worse specifications that lead to some Android tablets being cheaper.
The Apple Tax
Apple places a premium on its products simply because of the ecosystem it provides alongside the product you purchase. So, in essence, when you purchase an Android tablet, you are purchasing just the tablet. However, when you get an iPad, you are also purchasing the entire ecosystem.
Let me try to elaborate my point here. Let’s say, you buy a top-of-the-line Android tablet. It has all the bells and whistles and competes with an iPad in terms of specifications. Now, you wish to buy some accessories for it. Well, you’ll probably be stuck with off-brand wireless earphones or a stylus that’s just shoddy.
On the other hand, with an iPad, you immediately gain access to the ability to use AirPods, an Apple Pencil, connect to an Apple Watch, use iMessages, and immediately synchronize items from your iPhone or use AirDrop to send an image to your Mac. You get the gist. Yes, these items do have an additional cost placed on them.
But, I’d like to argue that the amount of practicality and convenience splurging into the Apple ecosystem gives you is second to none especially if you are a professional and time is of the essence. The ability to just seamlessly transition between devices is just paramount.
Supply And Demand
The iPad remains the most popular tablet ever produced. And, it breaks its records each and every year. With about a ~38% share in the global market, it takes the cake over every singular tablet manufacturer in the world.
With that said, there is no other company that can legally produce an iPad. Due to the company being vertically integrated, everything from software to hardware is proudly patented by Apple. So, if you wish to purchase an iPad and use iPadOS, you’ll have to resort to just one company; Apple.
In this way, Apple holds a pseudo-monopoly over the act of purchasing an iPad. So, they can set whatever price they desire and demand exorbitant amounts of money simply because they can. While this may sound evil (it kind of is), it is how the company has made its billions and will continue to do so.
So, unless and until a better ecosystem doesn’t pop up and the might of the iPad isn’t taken away, Apple will continue to have relatively higher-priced tablets / iPads than their Android competition.
Apple provides frequent feature updates to its iPads for a much longer duration compared to any Android tablet. While most manufacturers on Android’s side promise 1 or 2 years of updates, the iPad has been known to be supported for 3-4 years with the latest versions of iOS coming in.
So, while you do spend a bit more at the start, you end up with the ability to use your device for a lot more than you would’ve if you spent just a little less on an Android tablet. So, for users who don’t upgrade frequently and want a tablet that just works, the iPad turns into the obvious option.
When that happens, once again, Apple starts charging more money for the luxury of owning an iPad as compared to an Android.
The iPad Is Just A Better Tablet
iPads have remained the unofficial kings of tablets for many years and the status doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. As of yet, no Android tablet has been able to compete with the raw power provided by the chips inside the iPad Pros.
In essence, the iPad Pro or most other iPads for that matter can just do more for the price. From being able to use Photoshop or Affinity Photo to creating professional-grade artwork in Procreate, there’s tons of utility provided to users right from the get-go.
Couple that with the fact that most applications have been designed for the iPad from the ground up while most Android tablets get less than decent ports, and it’s clear why the iPad is more expensive.
Personally speaking, I’d argue that Android tablets aren’t even competing with Apple in the high-end sector. Instead, they’re absolutely smashing the company in lower-end hardware. For the B2B sector, Android tablets are still preferred due to various reasons such as their added customizability and general price.
So, for the end-user, an iPad remains a better tablet because of the customer retention and brand loyalty that Apple has created throughout the years. With arguably better hardware and a knack for good software, the Apple iPad still reigns supreme and will stay more expensive than an Android tablet.
I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.