Toshiba joins HP in dropping Windows RT tablets

Manufacturer will initially focus on x86 Windows 8 devices, rather than ARM tablets

Nicole Kobie
15 Aug 2012

Toshiba has pulled out of making Windows RT tablets, saying it will focus on x86 models instead.

The manufacturer had shown off a Windows RT prototype running ARM at Computex earlier this year. HP last month said it won't initially make Windows RT tablets because it believes its customers didn't want them, but Toshiba is instead blaming supply issues.

"Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible," Toshiba told Bloomberg. "For the time being, Toshiba will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market. We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while monitoring market conditions."

Toshiba has decided not to introduce Windows RT models due to delayed components that would make a timely launch impossible

The company hasn't said which components had been delayed.

Microsoft said earlier this week that Dell, Samsung and Lenovo will create RT devices as well as tablets running Intel chips, while Asus has already revealed an ARM design.

Acer has shown off a Windows 8 tablet running Intel's Ivy Bridge, and said it expects to launch an ARM version next year, but the company has been an outspoken critic of Microsoft's move into hardware with its Surface tablet - saying it would be "negative" for the PC market.

Like Toshiba, HP will also initially only create an x86 tablet. "The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future," HP said last month.

While HP was burned by its only ARM tablet, the Palm-based TouchPad, Toshiba has released several ARM Android devices - although none have made a major sales splash.

All manufacturers have a tough challenge to rival the iPad, regardless of which Windows 8 platform they opt for. Three years after launch - and after the arrival of many Android, Palm and BlackBerry rivals - Apple's tablet continues to hold 70% of the market.

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