updated 12:40 pm EDT, Mon October 26, 2009
Study: Windows users want cheap Apple tablet
Apple's often-rumored tablet may need to come in well below the rumored $800 price if it hopes to attract Windows users, a study shows today. While Retrevo believes 68 percent of Mac users are willing to opt for the large multi-touch device if it costs over $600, only 36 percent of Windows users asked would agree to the same terms. The difference is similarly wide at $800 where 41 percent of Mac users would pay $800 or more while just 20 percent of Windows users would agree to the same terms.
Accordingly, Apple may have to reach the $600 point or lower to attract a wide enough cross-section of the market.
It's speculated that the gap exists primarily as Mac users are more willing to accept a higher "pain" ceiling than their Windows counterparts, who are more used to low-cost systems. The typical selling price of a Windows notebook is significantly lower than the roughly $1,500 common asking price for a MacBook and has been pulled down by netbooks that often cost under $400.
The research further suggests that Apple may be squandering an opportunity to sell the tablet as an alternative to a netbook. Although between 35 and 39 percent of Windows and Mac users already have a netbook or plan to get one this year, that number jumps to 59 percent for those who have an iPhone. It's not said, though, how many of those planning to buy in the near future are assuming that Apple will either release a netbook or a device like the tablet that fulfills the same role.
Common rumors have Apple launching an approximately 10-inch tablet in early 2010, though it may reach a high price through the inclusion of 3G.