Intel-Microsoft impasse may price Windows 8 tablets too high

intel, Microsoft may start W8 tablets at 599 plus

An insistence on earlier pricing policies from Intel and Microsoft may put Windows 8 tablets out of contention, notebook PC builders getting into the field claimed Monday. Intel was reported by Digitimes contacts as unwilling to cut profit margins on its Clover Trail-based Atom chips, while Microsoft wasn't planning on trimming its Windows 8 price. As such, Intel-based Windows 8 tablets might start at a minimum $599 and scale up to $899, all well over the benchmark $499 price of the iPad.

The two sides may be facing an uncomfortable middle ground because of the nature of a "Wintel" PC, the insiders argued. If they do decide to cut prices on Clover Trail and Windows 8, they could build market share but would also be cutting prices on conventional PCs and cut profit across the board. Should Intel decline to cut prices, though, it may send some companies running to cheaper ARM-based tablets to get closer to an ideal price.

While strictly an observation, the tipsters saw these plus the Android situation as a confluence of multiple factors that would ultimately favor Apple. Along with Windows 8 tablets being too expensive, quad-core Android 4.0 tablets from ASUS, Lenovo, and possibly Samsung might only arrive on or after the rumored launch of the iPad 3 in March, overshadowing their efforts.

Windows 8 tablets themselves aren't due to show until the release of the OS roughly in the second half of the year, giving both Android and iOS ample lead time.

  1. chippie 01/16, 09:09am

    tablet, then they will have to pay for it. I don't see a real problem here, especially if it is businesses insisting on a windows tablet. And if windows 8 behaves as if on a PC with usb support, then the price could be a bargain.

  1. facebook_Nick 01/16, 09:10am

    Asus already has a quad core Android 4.0 tablet out.. well before March...

  1. MisterMe 01/16, 10:12am

    ... The Windows/DOS PC model does not work for phones and tablets. Your OEM partners will have to sell pencils on the street corner to subsidize their offerings if you continue along this path.

  1. facebook_Damon 01/16, 11:12am

    This article is nonsense. Betting on companies known for market dumping (Intel) not having a completive price is a bad bet.

  1. aristotles 01/16, 11:24am

    They can use something like Onlive desktop on their iPad. I've tried it and I can play back HD videos with sound for crying out loud on it. I'm sure there will be other competitors catching up to it eventually, perhaps even within a year.

  1. BigMac2 01/16, 01:02pm

    The Windows/DOS PC model could work as long as M$ is the only player in town, which is not the case. Google undercut Microsoft grass with their "free" Android.

    But in both case (Google and Microsoft) licensing OS doesn't push the development further, look how long it took for Microsoft to come with an update after WindowXP. Truth is, when you split responsibility, no one want to take it anymore.

  1. SockRolid 01/16, 01:11pm

    Re: "Windows 8 tablets themselves aren't due to show until the release of the OS roughly in the second half of the year, giving both Android and iOS ample lead time."

    OK, let's calculate some lead times here
    iPad release: April 3 2010.

    First Android tablet (Motorola Xoom) release: February 2011.
    iPad lead time: 10 months.

    First successful Android pad (Kindle Fire) release: November 15, 2011
    iPad lead time: 19 months.

    First ARM-based Win 8 pad release estimate: fall 2012.
    iPad lead time estimate: ~30 months.

    Microsoft is bringing their "full Windows experience" to the pad computing market at least 2.5 years after iPad was released. That's an eternity in computing and consumer electronics. But the killer is the sales numbers. Roughly 40 million iPads were sold through 2011. And some estimates call for 50+ million iPads to be sold in 2012.

    Good luck selling Win 8 tablets for $600, Ballmer.

  1. ggirton 01/16, 02:54pm

    Maybe the Win8 Tabs will be a lot better?!

    After all, being newer, they were designed a little bit further on, so their base hardware is higher. Thus, you could argue they would do more. Not to mention copying the iPad's good points and chopping the iPad design mistakes.

    By the way, what WERE the iPad design mistakes?

    Just wondering.

    I'm assuming the first Win8 Tabs will have a high-pixel screen, of course, since they will be matching the new iPads.

    They are not cheapo cheap like the Fire-Kindle, so they can't be sold at a loss. Therefore they must go for the premium end.

    Maybe Microsoft will buy Netflix and subsidize the Win8 Tabs by including them for $275 with a three-year Netflix streaming subscription.

    Gotta be a lotta opportunities for creativity in the 2013 tablet space.

  1. iphonerulez 01/16, 05:26pm

    willing to take huge cuts if Windows 8 doesn't take off. What does Microsoft have to lose. That company has so much money to throw away in a last ditch effort, so why not just practically give Windows 8 away. That would be the smartest thing for Microsoft to do in order to stay in contention. That would keep so many people interested in upgrading and give Microsoft a chance to show how great the product is. Microsoft is too big to fail and has so many backers on Wall Street and in corporations that won't allow it to fail.

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