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Acer's Rumored New Year's Resolution: Launch a $99 Android Tablet

The prices of tablets from top-tier manufacturers just keep tumbling down, down, down. Acer's reportedly working on an offering that would make even the $160 price tag of the original Kindle Fire seem exorbitant; the rumored Acer Iconia B1 slate should launch next year for the budget-friendly price of just $99, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The 7-inch tablet should sport internals similar to the aforementioned Kindle Fire, with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and a ho-hum 1024 x 600 display resolution. The Iconia B1 first reared its blue-rimmed head in photos leaked on a Serbian forum—pictures that the WSJ's sources say are authentic.

Here's the kicker: While Acer has submitted the Iconia B1 to the FCC for U.S. certification, it's not clear whether or not the company plans to launch the tablet stateside. Instead, the focus for this particular model will be emerging tablet markets such as China, the WSJ's sources claim. That shouldn't come as a surprise; while those pedestrian specs will seem very outdated in the U.S. by the time the Iconia B1 is allegedly set to launch in 2013, low-cost slates are expected to be a booming segment for tablet makers in other parts of the world.

"Android tablet shipments will certainly act as the catalyst for growth in the low-cost segment in emerging markets given the platform's low barrier to entry on manufacturing," IDC's Ryan Reith said in a report released earlier this month.

News of the Acer Iconia B1 comes weeks after rumors of a $99 Nexus tablet surfaced. An Asus spokesman, however, told the WSJ that the company has no plans to release a $100 slate.

Image via Benchmarks Forums