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Windows 8 tablets could be priced right out of contention

Zach Epstein
January 16th, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Tablets were the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but not the same way they were last year. In 2011 we saw more than 100 slates unveiled, the lion’s share of which were powered bu Android, and companies pushed hard to compete with Apple’s iPad. This year, barely any Android tablets were shown off at the show, but a number of companies had nameless prototypes on hand that were intended to show us what Windows 8 will be capable of once it hits the market. Unfortunately, according to a new report, the fantastic “Wintel” tablets we saw on display at this year’s show may end up with price tags that could deter most consumers and hurt Windows 8 tablets’ chances right out of the gate. Read on for more.

Citing anonymous sources from within notebook PC vendors, DigiTimes on Monday reported that Windows and Intel are unwilling to adjust costs to suppliers for their respective software and Clover Trail hardware. The result, according to the report, may be tablets priced in the $599 to $899 range. While this pricing would fall somewhat in line with Apple’s iPad, consumers have shown no interest in most rival tablets priced so high.

On one hand, pricing in the $599 to $899 range for a convertible touchscreen notebook running a full blown copy of Windows 8 would be an absolute steal. Up to $900 for a light-duty Windows 8 tablet, however, may not have the impact Microsoft is hoping for. DigiTimes notes that vendors may end up cutting costs by moving away from Intel and opting instead for ARM-based chipsets from other vendors including Qualcomm, NVIDIA and Texas Instruments.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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