When it comes to the eventual iPad 3 vs. Surface tablet battle it seems a number of analysts believe Microsoft will struggle to compete, and Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore feels that Microsoft wont compete directly with Apple, but they could slow down the iPads growth in enterprise thanks to Surface tablets being backwards compatible with Windows software like Office.
The image below shows the retail prices, expected for Microsoft Surface tablets, and also estimates for the cost of manufacturing the 32GB iPad with WiFi, the 32GB Surface running Windows RT, and Pro versions running the full Windows 8 software. The data shows how hard it will be for Microsoft to price the Surface tablets competitively, which is made harder thanks to the higher end models of iPad likely to include better battery life, more third-party apps and also a form factor that is much thinner.
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You can read the full statements from Whitmore in this article, which includes more analysis of the above figures and predictions for Apple’s iPad to keep 60-65% of the tablet market through 2014. The bottom-line is that Microsoft coming late to a party that Apple currently rule will mean it’s an uphill battle for Microsoft, and looking at the expected Surface price it seems they’re not trying to undercut iPads on cost either.
Do you think Microsoft should sell the Surface tablets cheaper than iPads? You can read about the lack of 4G/3G in the new Surface tablets in this earlier article.