A London company is introducing a $40 tablet to the Third World that could eventually drive down tablet prices closer to home.

The New York Times  reports the Ubislate 7Ci tablet from U.K.-based Datawind is a 7-inch tablet that has wifi, a mic, a camera, and a headphone jack -- all for $40.

The bigger news, however, is that I'm anticipating by next Christmas, you'll be able to buy a table for maybe as little as free.

I've long speculated about an ad-supported tablet from Amazon or Google that will be free or $49 or less, with no contract required, could be rolled out soon. It's really a loss leader for the manufacturer; they give it to you at a cheap price, knowing that using it gets you deeper into their ecosystem for other pay services.

At the moment, the street price on Androids is around $199 right now. Meanwhile, the iPad Mini is rumored to be selling for $249, but we'll see how that shakes out. Yet I think we'll easily see $99 and $149 tablets on Black Friday weekend.

At the other end of the price spectrum, Windows 8 is very innovative -- in all arenas except price. In fact, Microsoft is pricing their hardware at what amounts to a fortune.

The problem is you don't get widespread consumer adoption by charging a zillion dollars -- unless you're Apple.  And if Microsoft thinks they can compete with Apple at the same price point, I think they've got another thing coming.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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