The tablet just got a bump up to computer status. At least in the eyes of the government.
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has given the tablets, specifically the iPad, a status that people may not have expected two years ago. It is now going to be classified as tax free, which puts it in the same tax category of things like a computer. This is not a treatment that is given over to smart phones like the iPhone or Android, but instead reserved specifically for computer devices.
The principle behind the tax free computer category is whether or not a device has the ability to be a word processor, which is how they are defining which tablets can be considered a tax free computer. The iPad is now considered a vessel for legitimate word processing, which was not the general opinion amongst users even a year ago. This makes the iPad in the same grouping with things like laptops and notebooks, leaving the iPhone out completely in its own category.
The tablet itself has a few restrictions if it wants to receive that tax-free computer status. It has to be less than a $1,000 when purchased and it has to be legitimately considered a word processing unit, which is essentially to say that it has to have the ability to produce original content.
For now all smart phones will have to stay taxable, even if they have power that is similar to a tablet. An iPhone, for example, runs on the same iOS as the iPad and shares most of the applications. The size, then, is one of the essential factors leaving it out of the tax free zone, yet this may change as we move toward the iPhone 5 and beyond.