Engadget reported earlier this week that the Microsoft Surface tablet would sell for prices starting at $200, but clearly that device won't be coming from Lenovo. According to a recent interview in Bloomberg, Lenovo's Win8 and Windows RT tablets will cost considerably more, with an estimated retail that isn't predicted to drop below $400.
David Schmoock, head of Lenovo’s North America operations, went on the record with a number of details on Lenovo's tablet plans. The Windows 8 tablets, which are going to be running on higher end hardware, will cost $600 to $700, he said. And while he wasn't specific about the Windows RT, he did say that “RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points".
The article also states that the Windows RT tablets will cost $200 to $300 less than the tablets Windows 8 software. This comes as no surprise; we've know ever since the Surface tablet was unveiled that Windows RT was intended to be more limited and compete directly with Android and the iPad, while the Win8 tablets will be premium devices with greater software compatibility.
This detail about the Windows RT price point was confirmed by Schmoock. “It will do well but it’s going to be more of a consumer price point play to begin with," he said.
I hate to repeat myself, but I told you so.
If Lenovo is going to price their tablets $400 and up, do you really expect Microsoft to undercut them that badly? I don't. It would kill any chance of Lenovo making a profit on these tablets. Sure, they're going to get at least a few tablets out of each OEM, but if MS undercuts them too much that will be all. MS will be stuck as the only Windows tablet maker in a market increasingly dominated by the iPad.
And besides, do you recall Microsoft's last foray into hardware, the Kin phone? I'm still not convinced that MS won't screw up the Surface tablet just as thoroughly as they did that phone. If MS is left alone with Kin tablet in an iPad world, I'm buying another iPad.
P.S. See, this is a perfect example of why bloggers need to think about rumors before they repeat them; it would have saved many from tabloid blogging.