Microsoft just revealed its plans to release its own tablet, the Surface.While it looks pretty nice, Microsoft left out two key details. We don’t know how much the Surface is going to cost, and we don’t know when it will be released.
We’re expecting a fall ship date since that’s when we expect Windows 8.
As for price, we don’t know what to expect. Microsoft says the “RT” version, which is powered by ARM chips will be comparable in price to other ARM tablets. The full version, which runs with Intel chips, will be comparable to “Ultrabooks.”
So, the RT version could cost $300. Or it could cost $800. We don’t know.
Here’s what we do know: the iPad, which defines the market, costs $400 at entry level.
The reason its costs $400? CEO Tim Cook keeps a close eye on supply chain management, making that low price (with high profits for Apple) possible.
Earlier this year an industry source who works at one of Apple’s rivals explained it in simple terms: “If it weren’t for Tim Cook the iPad would cost $5,000.”
Maybe Microsoft has a Tim Cook at the company. Maybe, despite years of focusing on software, it has a supply chain guru who will be able to get all the components lined up. And maybe this guru will be able to offer the Surface for less than $400.
If there is no guru, then we expect the Surface to cost more than the iPad. And we expect it to be DOA.