I wrote recently about the challenges facing Windows 8 tablets, looking at factors such the x86/ARM split. New reports suggest that user confusion and pricing issues might be the real problems facing Microsoft’s 2012 tablet strategy.
Digitimes reports that vendors are having a hard time making Windows 8 tablets at an attractive price point, with suggest build costs of around US$300-$350 for 10 inch tablets and US$150-$200 for 7 inch models — and that’s before the Windows licensing costs are added in; according to the report that’s sitting around $90-$100 per tablet. I’ve certainly seen suggestions that OEM Windows licensing costs can be substantially lower than that, but even so, it doesn’t leave that much of a margin for aggressive pricing, and leaves me wondering if Microsoft would be willing (or is already) taking a hit on WoA licensing costs to get tablets out there.
Meanwhile, AppleInsider (who may just have a position in this tablet race already) reports on J.P Morgan Analyst Mark Moskowitz’s comments on Windows 8 tablets, stating that the diversity in potential models could be a turn-off for consumers
“We think that the consumer could be confused and distracted by the bevy of PCs, tablets, e-readers, and hybrid devices slated for release later this year,” he said. “A combination of varying operating systems and hardware form factors are the key reasons.”
Moskowitz believes that seven ARM-based Windows 8 tablets will launch in October, but that the differences between each, and competition with other devices may benefit Apple’s monolithic single-device approach.