They wouldn't be able to. Hell, even Microsoft will loose money per unit sold. It revolves around building name only. See it as a long-term investment for the company. But they could end up driving their partners away or into bankruptcy eventually. I suddenly understand why ASUS is so afraid of the Surface.
There is no way it would be that price. How would other hardware manufacturers be able to compete with that ?
The whole tablet race is starting to remind me of the "Supermarket Wars" we had here in the Netherlands in 2008. All large supermarket chains went thermonuclear by lowering prices by incredible amounts. Commercial blocks became saturated with different supermarket ads announcing price cuts. At one point the groceries I'd normally get for €150 cost me more than €50 less. It was great for us, the consumer, but some companies almost went bankrupted because of it. A lot of products were being sold at great loss. As a result not only the supermarkets got into trouble after a while, but also smaller grocery stores which just couldn't compete anymore.