Rumor: 32 Windows 8 tablets will launch in 2012

by Doug Drinkwater

April 19 2012

The first tablets running Windows 8 are expected to hit the market around October
The first tablets running Windows 8 are expected to hit the market around October

Citing sources in the ODM supply chain, Taiwanese news site Digitimes says that as many as 32 Windows 8 tablets will launch in 2012, despite the likelihood that the first slates running the new operating system are not expected to reach the market until the second half of the year.

The source ODMs, based in Taiwan, claim that the 32 different Windows 8 tablet models will launch before the year is out, with models coming from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Toshiba.

Digitimes says that the likes of Lenovo and Acer will look to push their slates out for anywhere between $300 and $1,000, but says that ODMs do expect some China-based white-box vendors to come out with some sub-$300 models to compete with Android.

The news site notes that Intel believes Lenovo’s education and business credibility with tablet PCs will be a key factor in driving Windows 8 tablet market share, and reveals that Microsoft and Intel have ambitious targets in trying to overhaul Apple’s iPad for market share.

Both companies apparently believe that the iPad’s dominance can be cut to a market share of less than 50% mid-way through next year, despite recent figures from market research firm IDC, which suggest that it will take until 2015 before anyone is in place to overtake the iPad (and, in this case, IDC believes it will be Android, not Windows, doing the overtaking - DD).

Earlier this week, Microsoft officially unveiled three different versions of Windows 8 called Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT, with the latter the version to run on ARM-driven tablets.

Note: It’s not clear if this figure of 32 Windows 8 tablets includes ARM-based models.

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