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Disaster: UMPC To Retail For $2,000

Forget it. They aren’t even trying. One of the first UMPCs, the Samsung Q1 (the fingerprint-loving edition) will retail for four times the target price of $500, in Korea. Two thousand dollars (or W2 million in Korean money) will get you more than just the UMPC (DMB TV receiver, USB keyboard, car adapter, optical disk drive, extra battery), but the fact that anyone is willing to quote a $2K price says that manufacturers are blatantly ignoring Microsoft’s targeted specs.

Yes, it is a bit overblown if anyone calls the UMPC dead after this, but the fact is this is yet another case of manufacturers screwing Microsoft because they just don’t get it. The appeal of the UMPC was its low cost and small size. Unless the price is low enough, it should never be sold.

I guarantee you Apple sits on perfectly good products, waiting till they can release them at the perfect price. Apple refuses to release incomplete products, and they refuse to release improperly priced ones. That is why consumers flock to them, because they don’t make mistakes.

Microsoft should have just built the damn thing themselves. If the manufacturers want to be stupid about this, it isn’t going to work out.
(via Engadget)

Oh, for two grand, you can get a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet PC X41 with a PENTIUM M running at 1.5GHZ, 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch screen. Oh, and $306 back, since it doesn’t cost two grand.

UPDATE: While UMPC Buzz is reporting that Engadget got the conversion wrong from the Korean dollars, what they actually did was get the price wrong entirely. The Q1 is W1,199,999, not 1,999,999. That’s a huge difference, resulting in a price tag of more like $1250, which is perfectly reasonable. I’d apologize to Samsung, but I think that’s Engadget’s job for starting the story in the first place.

April 12th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Tablet PC, General | 2 comments

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  1. The monetary conversion is wrong. Check out the UMPC Buzz article.

    Comment by George | April 12, 2006

  2. When the UMPC was announced, I think the target price was $600 to $1000. It’s natural to concentrate, optimistically, on the low end of the range but the high end is surely more realistic.

    Also, just because Microsoft gives a target price that it would like the machine to sell for, doesn’t mean manufacturers can tool up and sell it for this price.

    What we are seeing is exactly what happened with the Tablet PC. An overhyped announcement of an attractively priced new machine that will change the world. In practise, the volumes never materialise because few can justify the launch price. What is the ratio of tablet PCs sold to laptops, compared with what was predicted when the tablet was launched? Pretty small. Can someone explain to me what it is about the UMPC that is going to be any different?

    Comment by Julian | April 13, 2006

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