While Apple looks set to kickstart a whole new category of 'tablet computing' with the launch of the iPad this year, competing manufacturers are quickly re-evaluating their strategies in light of the surprisingly low $499 price point of Apple's new machine.

New that the competition is having to rethink their pricing for tablet PCs comes from a recent rumour in Digitimes, citing unnamed sources who claim companies such as ASUS and MSI were expecting Apple's iPad to launch at around $1,000.

So what now for the competing Android-based offerings to the iPad?

The iPad's highly aggressive pricing strategy is something of a departure for Apple, an attempt to create a new market for tablet computers amongst consumers and, no doubt, in part, a reaction to the increasingly low cost of netbooks in the last year.

Acer cans tablet plans

In related news, Taiwanese netbook giant Acer has announced that it is now no longer planning to make a tablet PC of its own.

Acer Taiwan president Scott Linn has ruled out a similar tablet computer, says the latest DigiTimes report.

According to that report: "Lin pointed out that designing an iPad-like device would not pose any technical challenges for Acer, but said such a product does not fit into Acer's business model."

He goes on to cite how the iPad will be supported through iTunes, and that given that no one has come up with a real rival digital media store so far, "other players are unlikely to be able to replicate its result simply by copying."

Linn added that the netbook sector was a "different consumer [group]" to potential iPad or tablet PC buyers.

Via DigiTimes