May 23, 2018

Mircrosoft's Low-Cost Tablet to Rival Apple

16 May 2018, 05:17 | Marlene Myers

Bloomberg: Microsoft plans lower-cost Surface tablets to battle Apple

Steven Sinofsky at Surface launch event

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will supply the processor and graphics chips, according to Bloomberg sources.

The software giant is planning to release a new line of low-priced Surface tablets as early as the second half of 2018, Bloomberg reports. According to the sources, Microsoft is planning to target the sub $500 market which is now dominated by Apple iPads.

The tablets will reportedly sell at a starting point of about $400 and have 10-inch screens and USB connections as well as several options for upgrades. The budget line will have a battery life that's about four hours less than the Pro line.

MS patent paperback
Microsoft has some interesting patents – more interesting than a cheaper Surface

That last bit is important. However, if executed correctly, Microsoft might be able to hit a sweet spot with the upcoming Surface Tablets and might as well give Apple a run for its money.

$400 will naturally get you just the slate, without any productivity-enhancing accessories like keyboards or pens, while LTE connectivity and twice the base 64GB internal storage should also cost extra. Anyway, it's seems likely that the Redmond giant could hold a special event to introduce these new Surface tablets later this year, maybe with some updates for other Surface products along the way. While iPad sales have shown some signs of slowing down, Bloomberg said Apple still sold around 44 million iPads, and brought in almost $20 billion in sales from the tablets, over the last four business quarters.

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