It has been confirmed that Microsoft is going to launch its Surface Tablets on October 26 of this year. However, it’s not the first time when the tech giant is trying to debut into hardware manufacturing segment as it holds years of experiences to sell devices like portable music player and gaming console. Eventually, this time there’s a serious discussion around about the price of forthcoming Surface Tablet.
Price Of Microsoft Surface Tablet
Citing to Sweden-based gadget site, Information Week has revealed that the starting price of Microsoft’s Surface Tablet could be as hefty as $1,000. The 32 GB ARM based Windows RT version of the Tablet will be available for $1,000, while higher-end 64 GB ARM-based version will have price tag of about $1,450. On the other hand, the Intel-based Windows 8 Pro version has been priced even costlier than ARM-powered version; 64 GB Windows 8 Pro version of the Tablet is expected to cost $1,885, while 128 GB version would cost $2,175. Interestingly, starting price of the Tablet was previously speculated to be $599.
Is Microsoft Trying to Compete With Apple In Tablet Segment?
Microsoft has designed Windows 8 ‘Metro UI’, a new desktop metaphor , for users those who believe that computer is first and foremost tool for the social web. Now, the software giant has endeavored to provide a full-fledged desktop experiences to users on Tablet. Although, the businesses and professionals are main target users, but indirectly, it’s trying to setup a strong contender for Apple’s iPad. Last time, Microsoft launched its portable music player ‘Zune’ to contend Apple’s iPod, but its efforts couldn’t live up its expectations. Finally, Zune could not dent iPod’s stronghold market, even a bit.
Price Of Surface Tablet Could Be A Big Hurdle For Its Shipments
Like Google and Apple, Microsoft is also trying to make its own integrated hardware -software ecosystem to secure a cash-hoard for future. Though, company understands the importance of in-house hardware manufacturing but it also needs to generate cash from its operating systems’ unit.
Already, mobile device market is flooded with high-end Tablets from various vendors like Samsung, ASUS and Apple and these vendors have significantly been influencing the market for last few years. To top-up the competition, Google is offering 8 GB version of its 7-inch Tablet Nexus 7 for $199 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire is already available at the same price. In March of this year, Apple plummeted the price of its iPad 2 , which is now available from starting price of $399. In all such scenarios, Microsoft’s Surface Tablet at $1,000 – more than twice of the starting price of Apple’s iPad – could prove fatal for the company.
Time To Go Back On Calculation Table
Undoubtedly, Microsoft needs to get its calculation and figures well tuned and right to present a fair competition in Tablet market. Considering the present scenario of the market, there are price sensitive users in scores who are still reluctant to own Apple’s iPad. The price of Microsoft’s Surface Tablet makes it too expensive for users to own and, I think, it’s very unlikely that the company can entice a large number of people with such price tags.
According to a report, 91% of business professionals are currently using Apple’s iPad and it’s really tough for Microsoft to convince them for platform shift especially when it’s like two different world. Till a certain extent, Microsoft is a novice for the Tablet industry and it will have to throw itself with full capabilities to secure a place. Apple has created a great impression of iPad among its users and to clinch such professionals Microsoft will have to think out-of-the-box.
As it has been said that re-branding is more difficult than branding; Microsoft needs to set the pricing strategy from the very first move to break others’ market. And to do so, I feel, company should follow the sales strategy of high-end cellphone model makers, where device is subsidized by carriers prior to sell on contract basis. Recently, Microsoft announced to invest $300 million for the promotion of Windows 8 OS backed B&N’s Nook Tablet, likewise, it should invest on Surface Tablet as well. Indeed, the company will have to shell off for its Surface Tablet to grab significant market share – just a small price of customer acquisition which could later be compensated through the Apps sales strategy.