Will tablets from OEMs like Samsung be available for less than the iPad?
A big question is coming into play at the moment with regard to Windows 8, specifically Windows 8 RT (the tablet version) – how much money will they cost?
With dominant market leaders Apple currently selling their iPad at around £450 (or $550?), and Android tablets ranging anything from £100-£400 ($125-500), it is clear that to make a dent in the market, Microsoft must be able to produce their new tablets at a price point lower than Apple’s iPad, at least. This is despite the fact that Windows 8 tablets will be far superior to other tablets on the market, not just in specification but also in terms of a more sophisticated OS, but unfortunately I doubt this will be enough to encourage many people to splash out more on one of these tablets than they would on what is generally seen as the more fun option, the iPad.
That being said, articles like this one http://news.yahoo.com/windows-8-tablets-reportedly-cost-more-ipads-215100063.html are surely bad news for customers, who may well be put off by such high price tags. Certainly, I am keen to get my hands on a tablet (expected to be available in October), but I won’t spend £500 on one. Articles like http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20120417PD216.html are therefore much more positive reading for someone like myself, with the figure $300 (or £250) being quoted as the entry price, and I would be more than happy to pay that much, it seems a steal.
I wonder how many Windows 8 RT tablets will come with SIM card and 3G capabilities… it’s certainly an important feature to keep up with its competitors. I also think full Microsoft Office integration will be crucial as a differentiator, and things like Skype (which will require a front facing camera) will also help to make the tablets unique.
Brief rant coming up – why are UK customers charged a premium price for consumer tech, compared with their US counterparts? The exchange rate is currently $1.5678 to the Pound, yet we always get charged only about 20% less in quantity of our respective currencies. This is the case for tablets, phones, and even games on the marketplace (e.g. 99 cents for a game becomes 79p in the UK – why is it not 65p?). Just thought I’d say.
If Microsoft really want people to take up their new tablets, they will need to be competitively priced. Even though I think it deserves a higher price tag than even the iPad, because it’s got better specs, better OS and more functionality, I don’t think too many will agree with me judging by the surprising criticism Microsoft have received for Windows 8. Apparently, OEMs will be charged $85 per tablet coming with Windows 8, as opposed to the free Android software as competition, but this comes with Office for free, and naturally it’s a more advanced OS than Android – it can actually run as a PC. But I worry that the OEMs won’t be willing to cut their profit margains down too much, and as a result we will end up with expensive options only. It will be difficult to produce these highly-specced tablets for a price similar to Android’s, and so I fear Microsoft’s attempt to finally beat Apple at its own game may be in vain. But I cannot be sure of that, I really hope that people start to take to Windows 8, and with it, take to Windows Phone, because after having used both, I think they’re both brilliant and worthy of one’s time and money.
Download the Windows 8 Release Preview here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download