For the iPad to be vulnerable, it has to be way better than the mainstream users’ needs. Which asks the question of what needs are being served. If it’s book reading, it probably is more than good enough. But if it’s replacing a laptop computer, certainly not. Being too feeble is the most common complaint about the iPad. Being a bloated over-functioned and overly complex solution looking for a problem is definitely not on buyer’s list of concerns.
This is a great point as to why the “$99 tablet” won’t hurt the iPad. To make a tablet that cheap, it has to be built cheaply — it will have to lack some of the functionality that the iPad has. And the iPad doesn’t yet have all the functionality that everyone wants.
Yes, someone like Amazon could sell their tablet with razor-thin margins — or at a loss — to push their other products and services, but not even they could afford to sell it at a massive loss to take the price down to $99.
If someone does make a tablet that can be sold for $99 (and not in the HP TouchPad fire-sale sense) I can guarantee one thing: it will suck.