Wintel tablets will demand sky-high prices

Windows 8, Intel-powered tablets could force vendors to sell for as high as $899, hampering attempts to meet ARM based devices on price point.

Windows and Intel are both struggling to keep down device costs based on their respective software and hardware, according to Eastern rumour mill DigiTimes.  

Quotes from the two have allegedly been sky-high and led to projected retail prices at between $599 and $899.

As the sources point out, price drops elsewhere could seriously turn the chances of profitability on its head for both companies. Meanwhile, Intel is busy pouring hundreds of millions into the Ultrabook so would presumably be hesitant to go any lower on hardware it’s already subsidising.

With tablets generally on a downward trajectory, as the Kindle Fire blazes a trail for market movement towards cheap devices, Wintel tabs could be hurt by a massive price tag.

Retailers in the UK are adamant that high prices in the UK won’t put off customers from buying the tablets. One high street retailer told us that such devices are likely to be high-spec, so some customers won’t be put off even at prices like £1,000.  Essentially the shops are saying with expensive devices, you’re going to get what you pay for, and there won’t be a problem with selling Wintel devices at a premium.

While shops may be happy to stock the devices at the high end, it’s likely that premium prices would get in the way of sales.  It’s doubtful that either Microsoft or Intel is looking to creep in for just a marginal share of the market.

ARM and Qualcomm chips are likely to undercut the Wintel alliance for Windows 8 tablets. If they are able to match or beat Intel’s specs while costing less to build it will make life interesting for Chipzilla.