Digitimes is reporting that manufacturers are having difficulty competitively pricing tablets running Microsoft’s new Windows RT operating system, which is essentially an edition of Windows 8 compiled for the ARM architecture used by most mobile devices, including new smartphones and tablets.
Ten inch tablet devices reportedly cost roughly $300-$350 for manufacturers to build (nine inch devices cost about $175), which is in line with what other tablet devices cost to build. The difference with Windows RT based devices, however, is that a Windows RT license costs OEMs and additional roughly $90 – $100, whereas Android is free for manufacturers to use and put on their devices.
These costs will presumably be passed on to the customer, resulting in Windows RT based devices to cost significantly more than similarly specced Android based devices.
Similar licensing costs will also apply to Windows 8, meaning that x86/x64 based devices will also incur similar pricing difficulties for manufacturers. An example of this can already be seen with past Windows 7 tablets, including HP’s Slate 500, which was offered for a pricy $799, significantly more than competitor’s tablet offerings.