Yesterday rumored pricing emerged for Microsoft’s new Surface tablets, with the ARM-based Windows RT variant reportedly aiming for $599, while the Intel-based Windows 8 Pro version would cost around $799. Bloomberg reports that the first versions of the tablets will only feature WiFi connectivity, with no immediate plans for 3G/4G options.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft plans to only produce WiFi only versions for now in order to keep costs down. The majority of tablets that are sold in the market solely feature WiFi, a factor that analysts say may have influenced Microsoft’s decision. Analysts also believe that the lack of extra connectivity isn't a problem for the company, with users predominantly using tablets at home and wary of adding a second data plan if they already own a smartphone.
Still, there are customers who would make full use of 3G or 4G connectivity. It also limits Microsoft’s ability to market a mobile product if its restricted to WiFi only, a factor that may be more important for the Intel-based version aimed at businesses and the enterprise market. The pricing for the Windows RT version seems to be a little high too, although it’s reported that the $599 price is attributed to the 32GB version. Microsoft is also planning to offer a 64GB model.