Windows 8 tablets have been off to a rocky start, and while upcoming models like the Windows 8 Pro Surface may help stir-up some new interest, there’s one big elephant in the room: price. In a market full of $200 Androids and $330 iPad minis, it can just be really hard to justify paying $500 and up for a Surface RT. During its most recent earnings call with investors, Microsoft fielded some questions along the lines of more affordable tablets, and it sounds like the company’s well aware that it needs to get some cheaper options out there.
Citigroup’s Walter Pritchard asked Microsoft CFO Peter Klein, “what do you think the outlook is in terms of getting price points down on the devices in aggregate in order to potentially drive some demand?”
Klein didn’t outright say that Microsoft is looking to bring prices down, but instead framed his response in terms of differentiating the Windows 8 tablet lineup in general, providing more, better options for customers. He explained, “we are working very closely with both our chip partners as well as the OEMs to bring the right mix of devices which means, to your point, the right set of touch devices at the right price point depending on the unique needs of the individual. We learned a lot about that and one of things you will see is a greater variety of devices at a bigger variety of price points that meet the differentiated needs of our consumers.”
While that could also suggest some new premium, higher-priced tablets as well, Klein seems to imply that Microsoft is just as interested in driving costs down to reach the lower price points that consumers crave.