Feeds

Analyst says Surface could hurt Ultrabook, Windows 8 tablets

MSFT subsidies could mean US$499 Surface price and death for Android tablets

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Taiwanese analyst outfit Trendforce thinks Microsoft’s forthcoming Surface devices will cannibalise the market for ultrabooks, put price pressure on Android tablets and confuse consumers.

The analysts’ WitsView service recently published a note in which research director Eric Chiou says that Surface devices’ 32GB of storage is a higher spec than that on most ten-inch Android tablets, justifying a higher price of US$599.

At that price Chiou feels Surface will “inevitably cannibalize ultrabook sales” and goes on to say that “Microsoft may not be pleased to see a competition between its own products.” Consumers may also be confused by the overlapping prices.

One way out, Chiou suggests, is for Microsoft to dip into its colossal trove of cash and subsidise Surfaces so they emerge to US$499, a ploy he says the company has done before when it took XBOX to market. The results of that subsidy program speak for themselves, as XBOX is now the number one console. A US$499 price would also slot surface in nicely between the iPad and ultrabooks.

Such subsidies could be bad news for Android tablet players, with Chiou offering the following scenario:

Surface may stand out in the market by sacrificing profits or getting subsidies from Microsoft, while the remaining brands are unlikely to possess the ability and will to do so. Undoubtedly, customers are expected to take the price of Surface as a benchmark for every single prospective Windows 8 tablets; that is, Microsoft’s Surface with an intentionally lowered price may decrease the price flexibility that affects its brand partners’ earning capacity, and even further impact their desire to launch new products.

That’s not all good news for Microsoft, as fewer or less-happy tablet-makers also means fewer potential Windows 8 tablet manufacturers.

WitsView nonetheless predicts that of the 94 million tablets it expects to be sold in 2012, four million will run Windows 8.

That’s decent uptake, however, as the new devices are tipped to emerge on October 26th. If we work on crude averages alone, without accounting for sales spikes pre-Christmas, four million Windows 8 slabs in sixty-odd days will represent at least 15% of tablets sold in the most-frenzied months of the selling cycle. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.