Swedish site slaps $1,000 price tag on Microsoft's Surface: DOA?

Swedish site slaps $1,000 price tag on Microsoft's Surface: DOA?

Summary: Pricing will make of break Microsoft's Surface tablet, and if prices start at around $1,000, then they will be "dead on arrival".

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A Swedish website has apparently outed pricing for Microsoft's Surface tablets, and if the prices are right, they're eye-watering.

UPDATE: Seems like the price was placeholder text. While the site is still to come back to me, a statement has been issued to Techie Buzz:

"Just to clarify, we have not recieved any pricing from Microsoft regarding MRSP or purchasing net cost, and any people who have booked the Surface at this high price will of course have their order adjusted before any product is shipped."

Four tablets are listed, ranging from a budget 32GB version running Windows 8 on ARM -- otherwise known as Windows RT -- to a high-end x86 version with 128GB of storage running Windows 8 Pro.

Prices are listed in Swedish Krona and range from $1,005 for the budget tablet all the way up to $2,155. Bear in mind that Sweden slaps a tax on electronic devices, but even accounting for that, if these prices are based in reality and have not just been pulled out of thin air -- then there's no way the market can support these prices.

Microsoft has remained coy about Surface pricing. There was a statement from Microsoft saying that they were "expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel ultrabook-class PC," but nothing more concrete.

On paper, the Surface tablets sound quite impressive. Both have a 10.6-inch screen, with the Intel x86 version running at full-HD 1080p resolution, and the ARM version running at HD 720p. Both are thin, both are light. Both have an integrated kickstand; both have a complement of ports, including a full-sized USB 2.0 port on the ARM Surface, while the x86 Surface enjoys USB 3.0 support. Both support storage expansion through the use of micro-SD cards.

While this makes them high-end, there's no way that the budget ARM version is worth anything close to $1,000, and a $2,000+ price tag on the top-end x86 Windows 8 Pro is pure insanity. From a bill of materials point of view, a $1,000+ price tag is not justified, so unless Microsoft wants to try to make Surface seem like a premium product -- and likely kill the product in the process -- there's no reason for such stratospheric prices.

The only company that could command that sort of price for this kind of hardware is Apple, and I'm sure Microsoft didn't get their competitors from Cupertino to build the Surface tablets.

Examining the market, I would peg the ARM version to be in or around the $600 price bracket, while the Intel-based version needs to be in the ballpark of $1,000 -- give or take a few bucks.

It's important to bear in mind that these prices could be nonsense; it wouldn't be the first time where I've seen a site attach a fake price tag to an upcoming product just to excite the rumor mill. The problem is that Microsoft has created an environment where rumors and speculation can spread because of the information vacuum with regards to pricing.

I'm interested in hearing from readers how much they would be willing to pay for a Microsoft Surface tablet based on what they already know about the device. 

Image Gallery: Microsoft Surface tablet

I have a question sent in to the Swedish retailer asking for clarification. I'll update the post if I hear back.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Tablets, Windows

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50 comments
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  • click-bait article.

    Another AKH click-bait master piece...

    Everybody knows that websites do testing for soon-to-be-launched products and the prices and likely to be dummy.
    owllnet
    • Maybe

      He needs more money for a kidney transplant or something?
      danjames2012
    • No they don't.

      "Everybody knows that websites do testing for soon-to-be-launched products and the prices and likely to be dummy."

      Really? Why ON EARTH would they do that, instead of saying "pricing to be announced"?
      Zogg
      • How HUMILIATING for you

        Considering that owllnet was pretty much right on with his post. Yet you responded with "No they don't". You look like quite the fool right now.
        toddbottom3
        • Silly Toddy

          "Yet you responded with 'No they don't'."

          I was referring to the "Everybody knows ..." part, silly.
          Zogg
    • The worst part

      is that AKH has been in the tech scene long enough to know that pre-release prices are usually not right, yet he STILL writes this crap.
      dsa791
      • Oh, but he's simply reporting the news!

        After all, it's his duty to inform the populace about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.
        That is, as long as it paints MSFT in a negative light.
        milo ducillo
  • So Surface is DOA because some website made up some crap?

    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is a moron.
    Joe Acerbic
    • I guess the saying is true

      When you can't argue based on facts, us Ad Hominem attacks. Typical Microsoft fanboy tactics. Do the three of you sit in cubicles all day, talking about how sexy Ballmer looks in his "tighty whites"?
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • @anonymous

        Talk about the kettle calling the teapot caviar black....
        milo ducillo
    • But is it "crap"?

      We don't know the price of Surface because MS refuses to comment. So how do you know that this Swedish website is wrong? This might really be the price of Surface in Sweden!
      Zogg
      • Yes, we know it's made up crap

        ...because they admit it is:

        http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-surface-dont-believe-every-price-you-see-7000001657/
        Joe Acerbic
        • We know NOW, yes.

          .
          Zogg
          • Too bad for you

            I (and anybody else using some common sense) knew it at once just by considering whether some obscure Swedish web store with nothing special to do with Microsoft would be the ONLY one in the whole world that MS gave their actual pricing info to, or NOT.
            Joe Acerbic
    • No it's DOA because nobody at Microsoft is refuting this pricing

      All they have to do is announce a price and a ship date. Why do you suppose they haven't? Most likely because there are huge problems with production yields and because they can't get the cost down to a reasonable level.
      AnalogJoystick
      • More likely they don't want to commit ...

        ... until it's actually available. If you commit to a price of x before the product is available, then a competitor with a product available now can immediately offer a price x' that's less than x, and capture a lot of buyers.

        Microsoft aren't exactly marketing geniuses, but one thing they understand very well is how to set prices to maximise profit.
        WilErz
  • Weird

    That he is still on this site's payroll... maybe if enough people complained and make a list of bait troll posts of his they would actually take action ?
    DJK2
  • Like Windows Mobile 7

    The mindless Windows fanboys will hit up "mommy"for the extra cash. McDonalds and Burger King do not pay that well. If there prices are even close to accurate. I can't see anyone, even the mose staunch Microsoft defender, claim they're priced "competitively". Not when you can but a 15" laptop for half th price of the "Pro version" that will have much higher specs. At $2,199, is the Microsoft name worth $1,699?
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • Get real

      You're stupid if you believe those prices are real... even though there are already Samsung ultrabooks with the same specs for the same price...
      Carvega
  • That would mean § 499 in the U.S.

    $ 1000 for a tablet may sound like a lot to an American, but it is the price of an iPad (wi-fi only, 32 GB of storage) in Norway (and in the rest of Scandinavia). In other words, a the Surface (wi-fi only with 32 GB of storage) for the same price will be competitive. Remember that the Surface will include a full version of Office and a touch cover (keyboard).

    Why is the price almost double in Scandinavia compared with the U.S., you may ask?

    1. The cost to customize the products to a very small market, with its own language, leads to higher prices.

    2. Generally much higher living costs, will also lead to higher prices for tablets. (Here in Norway we are not surprised if we pay more than $ 15 for a regular beer at a pub.)

    3. Given price in all stores always includes all costs. There are no fees or charges in addition to the price. Absolutely everything is included.

    4. The VAT is higher. In addition, environmental taxes, such as CO2 tax and electricity unit tax. The price also includes a kind of a deposit, which you get refunded when the tablet is returned for recycling a few years after you bought it.

    5. The price includes 5 year unlimited warranty against manufacturing defects, among other things. Five years is the minimum warranty period under the legislation (statutory consumer rights).
    reidar76