Windows 8 tablets are trickling into the UK channel but demand is still barely outstripping supply, distributors have reported. OEMs have taken a conservative attitude to their inventory position this Christmas, ignoring bullish calls from retailers and web shops for more kit - it seems the experiences of 2011's stock mountain …
Plenty in the shops over here, not exactly flying off the shelves tho.
Price is the problem. People are prepared to accept a less functional device for £200 rather than spend £400-500 on a more functional Surface or a more premium iPad (which has a better screen etc).
I'd say that the cheaper tablets are highly functional - in important ways they are more functional. They can do things that iPad users cannot, e.g. they have the freedom to install software that are not blessed by the vendor. iDevices are walled-garden devices that restrict functionality in effect. Also Android, for example, runs faster than windows so is fast on lower spec machines and uses less power. - So the cheaper machines may have a longer battery life. And so on. Cheaper doesn't necessarily mean worse when you are paying a premium for a brand.
Restrict supply of kit. Then when the measly quantities eventually shift - hey presto! The trinkets sold out,and we cannot keep up with consumer demand!
What will be curious is what the % return rate will be of those units that did shift. There are already reports of problems suffered by Win Phone 8 early adopters - freezes, rebooting and battery problems. And that's even before people become banboozled by metro and incompatibility of apps problems.
Re: Marketing games
Haven't Apple patented this?
I was at Heathrow at thevweekend. Duty free electronics was packed... apart from the aisle selling Win 8 pcs. People would wander over poke at them then go and queue to play with the cameras and ipads etc. Not sure if it was "this is dull" apathy or "this is crap" disdain.
Re: No interest..
It's hard to know whether it's aversion or apathy... the UI is ugly, crap and uninviting, the price of the devices are poor compared to other "similar" (in the eyes of consumers) devices and to top it off, they have a nasty habit of looking like just a line of new laptop-sort-of-tablet things on a shelf.
Consumers browsing in a store like that tend to want to look at what they perceive to be consumer items, not laptop-sort-of-tablet things with ugly interfaces. In other words, the target marketing direction is all over the place. Again. Consumers don't generally get excited by just another fecking Operating System... they'll tend to get much more excited by real tangible devices that just happen to run that Operating System. Does the Apple marketing fluff go on about the latest version of iOS or does it ignore that and sell the gadget? (That might happen to have new features as a result of the latest iOS, but that's not the core of the marketing message)
Re: No interest..
Similar story here. I was in John Lewis' electrical dept, which is always jam-packed, and I looked at the Windows 8 laptops, as I hadn't yet played with one. It flummoxed me and after about 5 mins of trying to work out what the hell I had to do to get to stuff I recognised, I gave up. Yes, that irrelevant, and I'm sure with time I'd have mastered it, but what WAS interesting, was how many people tried to use one too and gave up. One couple were in there to buy a laptop, and after the salesman introduced them to Win 8 and showed them around (I was watching for tips!), the chap asked why he had to keep doing things in an awkward way and how could he just 'get on the desktop to do some work'. The salesman tried to explain how he had the 'choice' between two environments, but the guy wasn't impressed and walked off saying to his wife he'd try and get a 'proper Windows laptop' elsewhere.
Most of the people who tried to use one to see how it worked, gave up too.
Yes, vote me down if you must as "any idiot could learn Win 8 in no time", but Jo Public were NOT impressed at the shop I was in (and I was in there a long while as the missus was looking at shoes, handbags and christmas decorations....)
Re: No interest..
Really interesting post. In hindsight this was bound to happen. The people attracted to Windows tablets are attracted by the idea of a familiar interface, which Windows 8 isn't!
Or at least the geek in me wants it, being addicted to gadgets and all. Stopped because of the difference between Windows RT and Windows 8; the later tablet isn't available yet.
Maybe everyone else is scared, or it hasn't really crossed their minds? It doesn't seem that long ago when Windows 7 was the latest and greatest. And anything else was an iPad. Maybe in a year's time, it'll get picked up, kind of like the Nexus and Samsung tablets now (anecdotal)? Could it be the software and games?
Gee, I don't understand why I still prefer Ubuntu but I think the people in Seattle and Cupertino laugh heartily all the way to the bank just as the folks in Washington laugh at your limitless ignorance.