Race to the bottom: Windows phones and tablets to reach a sub-$200 price point this year

Race to the bottom: Windows phones and tablets to reach a sub-$200 price point this year
Microsoft's VP for OEM partners Nick Parker went out at the Computex expo, and said something that is music to every geek's ears - prices will be falling. This goes both for 7-10" tablets with Microsoft's operating system, and for Windows Phones.

"We’ll reach price points that are very industry competitive for 7, 8, 10-inch devices. They will really surprise you. Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we’ll be 1s, 2s, 3s," he said, during an interview after his Computex keynote. As for Windows Phones - some models will be selling below $200 this year, without any carrier subsidies.

Microsoft is on a mobile market share crusade for the remnants of the market that aren't split between Android and iOS, and trying to woo newcomers would require drastic measures. After acquiring Nokia, it also has way more freedom to decide on pricing points for future Windows Phone handsets, so it will be interesting to follow what's cooking in Microsoft's mobile strategy this year.

source: WSJ

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20 Comments

1. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Android user here. Sold my Nokia Lumia 920 in only two months cuz of the app gap. But that was some time ago. If prices really fall that low, I might be returning. But I doubt the specs.

2. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Lumia 1520 for $300? IDK. Talk about undercutting a brand image. But without market share, brand image is worthless.

5. Subhajyotidas5

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 20, 2014

As far I think, The specs won't be too bad. Snapdragon 200 will be used as MediaTek won't be producing chips for WP platform. But the RAM would be 512 MB, and WVGA resolution will be minimum without/with front cameras.

3. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

10. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

16. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

PA doesn't want to write so many news abou Windows Phone devices :'(

4. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

6. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

it is the only way windows phone can be competition to android and apple...

9. brrunopt

Posts: 742; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Its the same way android start competing with apple.. As for apple, people will always keep buying apple because it has a apple logo on the back...

13. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Wrong. It was features, 4G, and a variety of handset availability that gave Android the competition for Apple. Ever hear of the Droid campaign?

11. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Thats not to say that the OS isn't as good or even better than Android and iOS many would argue that it is even better. However when people purchase low end they realize how good the OS is then next time around they go high end. People who usually buy high end WP are people who sort them out but now more and more people are realizing just how good the OS is. Android sold a lot of low end smartphones as well when it was rising. The future has WP being a star at both ends of the market.

7. HoPhonTab

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

Hope they make many smartphones and tablet at budget conscious price Just like android and not like the Apple :-)

8. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

As a geek, I understand that prices falling is not music to my ears. The commoditisation and race to the bottom of the smartphone market is bad news for geeks and those interested in technology and it lowers the bar to the lowest common denominator, which means overall less innovation and interest in the market. Falling prices is good news for people who don't care about the market, the very people who are most certainly not geeks.

12. jojon

Posts: 421; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

I disagree, this is a multi billion industry, dominated by a couple of manufacturers with obese retail pricing that simply cannot be justified. Surely there cannot be a smart phone out there that could not be retailed for under $600US. At the moment the market is a big fat milking cow for a couple of manufacturers happy to gouge what they can because they have the following. Sounds like Microsoft is gonna shake the tree and see what falls out, nail biting time at IOS and elsewhere. Microsoft can well afford to run their models at modest margins. Pretty soon the 'diehards" will have second thoughts about paying double for their favourite device compared to what Microsoft is suggesting with this statement. But worry not Mr Geek, this industry is not all about you, but you will always be a part of it.

14. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

I agree to a point, phone prices are far too overpriced these days (thanks, Apple). The problem though, if you sell them too low, you run the risk of not making a good enough profit, and more importantly, your customer base expects that to become the norm for future phone releases. What this looks like to me is MS trying to get people to switch, thereby helping to lock them into the WP ecosystem.

17. jojon

Posts: 421; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Yes, you are right, that is no doubt the plan. Microsoft has obviously done their sums in an attempt to strand the likes of IOS at the extreme end of pricing. Another danger with how things are now, is turning the industry into a bubble, when a ph manufacturer is prepared to pay some $3billion for a sound system. If Microsoft do indeed proceed with this stratergy, it will ultimately revalue the whole industry. Apart from the consumer, the question is who will benefit?. There are some interesting outcomes to contemplate here..

19. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

The problem isn't heavyweights milking the market, it's the competition being so utterly poor and incompetant in comparison. You don't further a market by dragging everyone else down to those low levels, you need to raise everyone else up. There's no room for feeling sorry for HTC, Sony etc for their pitiful performance in the smartphone market in comparison to a juggernaught like Apple. What HTC and Sony really need is a kick up the backside and a new strategy or direction. Simply dropping prices doesn't help anyone as it doesn't address the underlying issue of making products that people don't really want to buy. HTC and Sony just need to pull an Apple when they launched an iPhone.

15. tokuzumi

Posts: 1757; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Motorola has turned the low/mid range market on its ear. The Moto E and G are amazing phones for their class. You will be hard pressed to find anything close to the Moto G, for the price. The other manufacturers have no other choice, but to follow suit. Especially if MS wants to increase market share of their WP OS. MS really needs to get into the emerging markets. In the developed nations, the lines are already drawn.

20. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Microsoft/Nokia are already there, with the Asha, X, and WP lines. The 520/521 are the best selling Windows Phones yet, many thanks to "emerging markets". I'd anything, Moto is playing catchup, especially not being as established as an international brand.

18. dorian827

Posts: 161; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

I think its excellent that Microsoft is providing affordable mobile and tablet solutions. When I think of tablets like the Surface Pro 3 starting at $800 then I get a bit confused. I think the Surface Pro 3 should have been the start of an affordable but premium tablet. I don't know any consumers personally that has $800+ laying around for a dated tablet .

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