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GET A SKYPAD FOR $40

Best Buy is offering a killer deal on a fully loaded tablet computer

Personal computers aren’t quite free, but they might as well be. Now Best Buy has launched a deal on the Acer SkyPad that sounds like small change: $40.

Made in China, with software from India, the SkyPad offers everything a student or casual computer user who needs more than a phone, could want. And at a fifth of the price of an Apple iPad, which was recently cut to US$ 199. With a million free Apps available, even corporate workers will snap them up.

Amazon are giving away the new Kindle VX free to anyone who buys two eBooks. But that’s not all. The new Kindle also does email and web browsing, so who needs a Blackberry?

Smartphones are really smart, but no-one buys them, they just get them free on contract from the mobile providers. And since all calls are made over digital data connections, calls are ‘free’ too, or at least unlimited. No wonder they’re not calling themselves phone companies anymore, but Networks.

It’s all good news for consumers. The utility of a smart connected device is now available to everyone, not just the affluent.

This is a great deal for those communities who are still under-resourced – the bottom of the pyramid. Now the kids will have better access to education and entertainment.

The consolidation in the device business continues. Will Nokia’s acquisition of Dell see them mounting a competitive offering to Acer, or are the margins just too thin in this industry? Every new model is cheaper than the one it replaces.

If prices continue to drop, whole manufacturing businesses may disappear, leading to job losses and another economic slump. Radical new business models are required to sustain the ‘computer’ industry.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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