Windows RT tablet prices plummet, along wth its prospects

Manufacturers of Windows RT tablets are clawing their way to the bottom, and few -- if any -- new RT machines are on the horizon

Windows RT tablet prices are falling -- rapidly. Given Windows RT's adoption rate, that shouldn't surprise anyone. I predicted as much two months ago, Agam Shah at the IDG News Service confirmed it yesterday, and a quick check of major manufacturers' and retailers' websites shows that prices are definitely headed down. But there's more to the story.

While manufacturers and retailers claw their way to the bottom -- draining out inventory as fast as they can -- there are very few, if any, new Windows RT machines on the horizon. Retailers are chumming for chumps, and even if Microsoft reduces the wholesale price of Windows RT by 60 percent (as suggested by Canalys), there's little reason to believe many Windows RT machines other than Microsoft's own Surface RTs will be around this fall.

Here are the three Windows RT tablets currently available in the United States, with representative prices:

  • The 32GB Asus VivoTab RT at Newegg has gone from $599 to $372, a decline of 38 percent. On Amazon.com, it went from $599 to $381.
  • Dell's 32GB XPS 10 is listed on the Dell site at $449, which is $50 (10 percent) below the original price. Amazon says it originally cost $510, but has been reduced to $450, a saving of 12 percent -- and you better hurry to place your order as there are only three left in stock.
  • Lenovo's 64GB IdeaPad Yoga 11 RT lists on Amazon at $499, a 29 percent reduction from its recent $699 list price, and 34 percent lower than its original list of $759.

Of course, Microsoft has the Surface RT and, of course, its price hasn't dropped.

Two months ago, Microsoft Windows division CFO Tami Reller told Bloomberg's Dina Bass that new devices running on Windows RT won't be released this spring. I haven't heard of any changes in plans and don't know of any manufacturers that have taken up the RT religion -- although Acer EMEA president Oliver Ahrens has been quoted as saying that Acer would consider building a Windows RT tablet this year, but "work still needs to be done with the usability of the OS. Acer sees potential value, but Microsoft has to put in more effort on making the OS appealing to consumers."

Assuming Reller is privy to Asus's and Lenovo's plans, and that Acer hasn't completely reversed its earlier stance on Windows RT, that leaves just two manufacturers -- Dell and Microsoft -- with Windows RT irons in the fire, and it's hard to imagine Dell rolling the dice on any new product at this point.

Let's see how low prices go before the manufacturers yank the cord.

This story, "Windows RT tablet prices plummet, along wth its prospects," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Recommended
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies