Price Will Determine Success of Early Windows RT Tablets - Analysts

Analysts Believe Windows Tablets Have to Be Inexpensive to Be Successful

by Anton Shilov
08/23/2012 | 06:11 PM

The market of media tablets nowadays is shared between Apple iOS and Google Android platforms as there are virtually no competitive rivals for those operating systems. With the release of Windows 8 and more importantly Windows RT, Microsoft Corp. will clearly attempt to seize a significant part of the market from the current leaders. But in order to do so, Microsoft will have to ensure not only high quality, but also affordable price, analysts believe.


Media tablets powered by new Microsoft operating systems Windows 8 and Windows RT will have an impact on the overall tablet market, just not this year, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research. Windows-based tablets will commence shipments at the end of October and capture an estimated 1.5% of total tablet shipments for 2012. Pricing for Windows tablets will be a key consideration for end-user adoption. If priced aggressively towards current Android tablets, Windows tablets could see 2013 shipments increase ten-fold year-over-year; however if priced like Apple's iPad offerings, Windows tablets may only double or triple shipments in 2013. Growth in the total available market is expected to come from businesses adopting tablets, which is expected to be a strong area for Windows 8.

"One area that Windows 8 might be embraced with open arms is in the enterprise. Neither of the leading tablet OS platforms has squarely addressed the needs of IT organizations and business users. Flawless execution by Microsoft on its Windows 8 Pro enterprise strategy for tablets could catapult it into a mobile computing leadership position," said Dan Shey, enterprise mobility practice director at ABI.

When it comes to consumers, Windows RT seems to be a much more important thing than the Windows 8. According to a high-ranking executive from Lenovo, Windows 8-based tablets will cost $600 to $700, whereas at least some Windows RT-powered tablets will be available for $300 - $400, or on par with slates that utilize Google Android operating system.

Windows RT accelerates an existing ecosystem of vendors experienced with ARM-based development and leveraging the architecture strengths. Windows RT represents Microsoft's first OS volley addressing future generations of computing devices while leaving much of the legacy Windows baggage behind, according to ABI.