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Windows on ARM laptops have completely failed to take off, largely due to the poor value proposition, with ARM laptops being much less powerful than Intel devices and also having compatibility issues.
It appears this straightforward insight has now also dawned on Qualcomm, who blamed the failure of the platform on OEMs charging more than $1000 for new Always-Connected PCs.
“One of the points that we were not satisfied with the early devices was the inadequate pricing,” said Miguel Nunes , the Senior Director, Product Management at Qualcomm, in an interview with Golem.de.
Nunes however said that pricing was up to OEMs, though we have heard that pricing for ARM chipsets such as the Snapdragon 8cx were around the same as Intel chips, but with poorer performance.
Even now the Microsoft Surface Pro X costs more than $1500, though we are starting to see more reasonable priced ARM devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Book Go, which retails for less than $500.
Ultimately it was not the cost of the devices which undermined the platform, but the value – as Apple demonstrated with the Apple M1 chipset – if the performance is equivalent or better, buyers do not care which chip powers their device, which ultimately lays the blame on both Qualcomm and Microsoft.
Hopefully the next generation of Qualcomm processors for laptops and improvements to Windows 11 on ARM will address both issues.