TAIPEI, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Microsoft officially announced the price of Surface featuring the Windows RT operating system and a 10.6” display. The price meets the estimation calculated based on costs and profits, which is not particularly appealing in the market where the competition is fierce. It has limited support to lift Windows RT’s status among the tablets. TrendForce tends to be conservative toward Surface RT shipment with an estimation of 2.5 million unit shipment in 2012.
Although a price tag of $499 is located in the mainstream price range between 9.7” and 10.1” tablets but it shows no particular amazement, indicated by Eric Chiou, the research director of TrendForce. Compared to Apple’s iPad family, Surface’s price is the same as New iPad, but New iPad carries the resolution of QXGA(2048×1536), one whole grade higher than Surface RT’s WXGA(1366×768). When comparing their resolution density (PPI), Surface RT’s 148PPI lags far behind New iPad’s 264 PPI.
Compared to iPad2 , which is at the same resolution grade and priced at $399, Surface RT seems expensive with a $100 price gap. In view of the storage, Surface’s entry-level model carries 32G, double the 16G equipped in iPad entry-level model, but this could be the strategy in response to larger APP file size under Windows RT. It remains to see if consumers can benefit from the bigger storage.
Surface’s pricing strategy seems to show the compromise resulted from cooperation between Microsoft and several brands. The price gap between Surface and various tablets launched by PC brands is basically within $100. Although PC brands focus on smaller 10.1W WXGA tablets, PC brands still have chances to fight under the condition of similar prices and resolution, the room for survival is not completely squeezed by Microsoft’s in-house Surface tablet, Eric Chiou added.
According to TrendForce, three versions of Surface RT priced between $499 and $699 can be interpreted as Microsoft adopting a soft and modest attitude toward the penetration strategy in the tablet market. However the price basis not only has very limited replacement effect to Netbook averagely at $299, but also overlaps some Notebooks’ price range. Under the condition of featuring similar functions, it cannot avoid the situation that Microsoft operating system families fight against each other, leading to squeezed sales.