Samsung Won't Release Windows RT Tablet in U.S. Due to Poor Marketing, User Education Efforts
January 11, 2013 9:42 AM
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Samsung Windows RT devices may come to the U.S. in the future
Microsoft has been having a difficult time selling its own Surface RT tablet in high volumes. The Surface RT tablet was first Windows RT device on the market and runs a version of the Windows operating system designed specifically for ARM processors.
Microsoft hardware partner Samsung has announced that it won't be releasing its Windows RT device in the United States. Samsung says that retail partners aren't seeing strong demand for Windows RT tablet and the value proposition for Windows RT isn't clear to consumers. Samsung has also not been forthcoming with its plans for Windows RT devices in markets outside the United States.
Samsung senior vice president Mike Abary told
There wasn't really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.
Abary also noted that one of the big selling points for Windows RT devices was that the devices should be less expensive than those running Windows 8. "We didn't necessarily attain the price point that we hoped to attain," Abary said. "It's not an issue on Microsoft's side. It's more an issue of how the product was built and some of the tradeoffs we had to incorporate in it."
Abary did leave the door open for Samsung Windows RT devices to come to the US in the future. He added, "We want to see how the market develops for RT. It's not something we're shelving permanently. It's still a viable option for us in the future, but now might not be the right time."
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RE: What does this really mean?
1/11/2013 6:10:24 PM
I think you're right. A big reason RT isn't selling well is because the machines cost as much as or more than low cost laptops or netbooks did, except that they aren't running Windows. Consumers in that low end aren't going to compromise things like a keyboard and larger screen (poor as they may be at that price) for a tablet.
This is despite the fact that products like the Surface are actually well made. All people in that market see is the price. Samsung is smart holding back and waiting for things to settle.
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