We recently reported that a new rumor suggested that the Surface RT could sell for as low as $199. While we are not holding our breath that it will come true considering what Microsoft has said in the past about the price point for the product, apparently the news has made enough waves to put OEMs on the edge of their seat.
In a report from Digitimes, who has an accuracy rating of 40% via Tracour, the site states that vendors are quite nervous that Microsoft could introduce a tablet at that price point and if so, they would consider pulling out of the Windows RT market. We should note that Digitimes did accurately predict, nearly a year before it happened, that Microsoft would build it's own tablet. This would suggest that they do have decently placed sources for this kind of information. Digitimes quotes an inside source with the following:
However, if the rumored price is true, Microsoft's Windows RT partners such as Asustek Computer, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics and Dell may all halt their development, leaving Microsoft to play in the Windows RT market by itself, the sources noted.
What is not revealed is if the source has its own information about the $199 price point or if it is a new source of information backing up the $199 price point.
It will be quite interesting to see if Microsoft does offer the Surface RT at the $199 price point because if they do, the royalties lost on Windows RT licenses could be significant if they are the only player in the low cost Windows tablet market.
Microsoft has yet to comment on the pricing for the tablet and we don't expect them to respond to the pricing rumors either. But, we should have our answer on the true price of the Surface tablet very soon as the product will launch at the end of October along side the public release of Windows 8.