The company that practically invented the netbook space is now one of the major players in the tablet space. Asus says it moved 3 million tablets in the first quarter of 2013, and research firm IDC puts Asus in third place, behind Samsung and Apple in tablet market share.

Of course, third place doesn’t mean much when Apple still has almost 40 percent of the market to itself. IDC says Asus has just a 5.5 percent share of the tablet market.

If Asus CEO Jerry Shen is right though, things could change this year with Windows 8 tablet prices falling to $300 or less.

Asus MeMO Pad Smart
Asus MeMO Pad Smart

Right now tablets running Windows 8 tend to cost $500 or more, with only a few models selling for lower prices. The Wall Street Journal reports that Shen sees prices for Windows 8 tablets dropping to $300 this year, possibly when tablets with screens smaller than 10 inches hit the market.

Today the smallest Windows 8 tablets available feature 10 inch screens. But models with 7 or 8 inch models could be in the works.

Meanwhile Asus also continues to sell a range of tablets running Google Android. That includes models with 7 and 10 inch displays with starting prices ranging from $149 to $500.


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6 replies on “Asus sees Windows 8 tablet prices hitting $300, moves into 3rd place in tablet market”

  1. Problem with hoping Windows tablets take off is that it is a fail either way. The way the market has broken down seems to be iProducts can be expensive (although the need for the iPad Mini was partly price pressure) and everything else is in a race to the bottom. Microsoft had hoped Windows tablets could sell in iProduct price ranges but it can’t.

    So Windows tablets race to the bottom and compete with Android, where there is zero room in the Bill of Materials for a Windows license. So even if they sell oodles of em they make no money. Google pulled a trick straight from Gate’s playbook and has stepped on their air hose. Google doesn’t need revenue from Android licenses but Microosft most certainly needs hefty license fees per unit sold or their whole business model is eliminated.

    Worse, if Microsoft does essentially give away Windows (or RT) licenses to compete in the tablet space how long until the desktop customers grow tired of paying non-trivial amounts for the exact same codebase? And THAT notion strikes right to the heart of their balance sheet. Other than Windows and Office they have few other profitable business lines. Starter Edition got them through the netbook phase because people gave them a pass because we all knew they had been caught flatfooted and had no other choice.

    How long does clueless work as a basis for a pricing model?

    1. I’d like to see 7″ tablets running Ubuntu desktop (not the tablet version unless you can drop into the desktop environment) with an integrated mouse in the bezel.

      There’s one thing for sure Windows tablets has going for them. It’s the desktop. My Nexus 7 is a nice toy but I’d replace it with a Windows 8 7″ tablet with integrated mouse and active stylus any day even if it costs 2x as much. If I were to choose one when heading out the door, it’d be the Windows one 100% of the time.

      That’s just me who would benefit from a very mobile Windows device though. I can see how the average user would go Android or iOS. Too bad for me.

    2. “So Windows tablets race to the bottom and compete with Android, where there is zero room in the Bill of Materials for a Windows license.”

      How is there zero room when even Android tablets can charge over $100 more than for the cost of parts?

      Sure, many OEMs won’t like cutting into the profits but there is usually room!

      Besides, you’re forgetting MS is employing subscription services now and are becoming less reliant on the up front license fee business model.

      Main problem is Windows 8 still needs to be developed more and people want more performance for their money… fortunately they’ll be getting both with the next gen Bay Trail tablets, which by the time they come out Windows 8 Code Blue Upgrade/Update to Windows 8.1 would be out and the MS App Store will be much more developed than when Windows 8 was first released.

      These things just take time… Android didn’t rival iOS market share when it was first released either, it took time!

      Mind that MS is still making profits and so they got plenty of time to wait it out…

  2. I can’t wait for 7″ Windows 8 tablets with embedded mouse pointers to come out. Hopefully, the first Bay Trail tablets are 7″. That way, it’ll be easier to get Ubuntu desktop on it.

    My Nexus 7 isn’t as useful as I thought it would have been.

  3. And how much of Asus’s tablet share the result of the Nexus 7? People don’t buy it for the Asus logo; they buy it because it’s a Nexus.

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