Dvorak: ‘Microsoft’s Surface tablet isn’t the Apple iPad, so it shouldn’t be priced like one’

“Microsoft [yesterday] revealed its Surface tablet pricing,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. “The 32GB is $499 with no keyboard or an additional $119 to $129 (depending on the color) bundled with the cover, which probably costs all of $7 to manufacture in China. The loaded 64GB model comes with a cover for $699.”

“Yes, if this was an Apple product, it would be priced similarly,” Dvorak writes. “But it isn’t, and to compete with an Apple product, it must be priced aggressively lower. Apple always prices at a premium. It has made an art out of premium prices. Microsoft has not and cannot price the same way. To make matters worse, the prices are for the ARM-based RT tablet.”

Dvorak writes, “Who knows how costly the actual Windows 8 version will be… Microsoft has made the rookie mistake of pricing the product too high initially. I assure you it will quickly lower the cost, which will make the public think, ‘Oh, it must not be selling. It must be a dog. I won’t buy one now.'”

Enjoy John’s rare moment of lucidity in the full article here.

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    1. On the contrary, MDN was far too kind to Dvorak. They let him get away with perpetuating the “Apple always prices at a premium” myth. Apple’s iOS devices have been price leaders since they were released, and the rest of the industry has struggled in a profitless effort to compete. The only marginal bit of success has been through slavish copying (Samsung).

    1. You are far too generous. A broken (traditional) clock is right more often than Dvorak. This is just a rare and intended aberration of partial lucidity. I don’t recommend that you raise your expectations, or give this self-admitted Apple-baiter any hits at all.

  1. I say well done M$. This is a perfect price and ideal launch. When customer compare the iPad and Surface it will make for an easy decision.
    We need M$ to come out with products like this on a regular basis. It is important that M$ continues to strive for mediocrity and spend their ill gotten gains from Windoze and Orifice by pouring money down the drain.

  2. The iPad did not debut at a premium price. In fact the low price caught many off guard and destroyed the netbook market. Further, there is a distinction between a premium price and a premium product at a reasonable price. The latter is what so few of Apple’s competitors (and many analysts and journalists) fail to understand.

    1. You nailed it, @currentinterest. You would think Dvorak, a freaking TECHNOLOGY JOURNALIST, would have the ability to remember that everyone expected the iPad to launch at ~$1k.

      “An art of premium pricing,” right.

  3. Why worry about what Microsoft does? I know it captivates the attention of Fanboys but in the end who really cares? I’m just happy to see that Apple continues to make quality products. Superior quality products. Thus the ability to price and sell said product. I agree with the article, Microsoft will drop its prices soon. And it will look like a loser.

    1. Unfortunately there seems to be a trend where some (fickle) people think they should be able to buy sterling technology at bargain basement prices. Love too the tech turd types who think the iPad is a “toy” which is just another convenient & cheap tech cliche like iSheep with no bearing in reality, just fitting someone’s disingenuous rationalization bias. Like apple users aren’t discerning about their tech. Just wanna slap those MF’ers silly.

  4. Problem is, there is no place to hide in the pricing structure for MS.

    iPad 3-$499
    iPad 2-$399
    iPad mini- $199 – $299 ???
    iPod touch $299

    And then you have the entire army of iPad wannabes selling at cost: Nexus, Kindle & Nook–also anywhere from $199 – $500

    I’m predicting a RIM/HPalm fire-sale by March for the Surface.

    1. I’m pretty sure keeping the iPad 2 around at $399 was a test of lower price points (not IF it would work, but to judge sales volumes and impacts on the flagship model).

      My guess is we’ll see the iPad mini models at $299 – $399 (or maybe even $449).

      With the existing 10″ iPad models Apple is already pursuing a strategy of very aggressively pricing, but that doesn’t mean Apple has to chase the Kindle and Android tablets down into the muck in the 7″ market.

  5. So, Dvorak, you thing Apple is ” Premium” priced. You want a low cost piece of crap! OK, let’s see how this works……

    First lets change the aluminium case to PLASTIC with a sliding slot that allows the battery to be changed.

    Next, lets change the battery to the one sourced by Crapola Inc. one that dies after 3 months.

    Next lets make the plastic case boxy and fatter with all sorts of slots that don’t belong on a tablet

    Next lets replace the Retina display with one that has much less resolution, don’t worry we will just say that it is actually better than the higher definition one and those idiots we want to sell to will believe it.

    Next, lets put in a real cheap processor.

    I could go on with the crappy software…..but I’ll stop here.

    NOW LOOK AT IT. Is that what you want? It looks almost like the surface now.

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