Re: Original XBox Anyone?
"It has to sell for a good margin below the iPad or...you'd just buy an iPad (well I wouldn't but Joe User would)."
Apple has only benefit from vast amounts of media hype (free advertising) and support in the shops, which Android gets little of. Since MS can get hype and shop support too, there's no reason why it has to be a lower price.
I might as well say Apple need to price below MS, otherwise most people will just buy MS - after all, that's what happens on the desktop.
Also remember that the Surface is just one Windows 8 device. It doesn't matter if it's more expensive, sells less, or whatever, as long as Windows 8 as a whole sells well. Indeed, the Surface may well be a premium device, intended to be a high end that sets a standard, leaving other PC manufacturers to sell cheaper Ipad-like products that, like the Ipad, aren't as good, but might sell more due to the cost.
"If it's $400+ then it's dead in the water and guaranteed a place in every "Failed Tech" article for years to come."
The problem is that "Failed Tech" media articles often have little to do with actual success. The media will declare it a flop based on what they want, not on what actually happens When Apple get 5% in a market, it's an amazing success (e.g, the Iphone), when MS get 10%, it's a flop (e.g., the Zune). Or for Apple, the media just invent a new market category to say Apple are number one (e.g., tablets but not including smartphones - which are tablets by any reasonable definition; or indeed "smartphone", which is defined to compare all of Apple's sales to only a fraction of Samsung's and Nokia's, even though the original Iphone wasn't even a feature phone, since it couldn't run apps).
$600 is £400, in line with other high end IOS and Android 10" tablets. So that price is fine, albeit nothing special. $400 would be a success - that's under £300. At $300 - well if it's not a hit at that price, it'll be due to other problems (e.g., media bias, or lack of support in the shops, or unfair bias in software support, as happens for Symbian and Android for phones, since so many companies only support the less popular Iphone).