updated 07:55 am EST, Mon January 16, 2012
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.