Microsoft Preps Rival to Apple's iPad

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

The models are set to become available as soon as the second half of the year for around $400, Bloomberg reported today.

The $400 Surface tablet will feature a 10-inch display, which is considerably smaller than the 12.5-inch display on the current Surface Pro.

Meanwhile, the standard iPad has a 9.7-inch screen. Intel Corp. will supply the main processor and graphics chips for the devices, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren't public.

Microsoft declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on a low-priced Surface tablet to compete head-on with Apple's iPad, according to a Bloomberg report. In the past Microsoft released the Surface RT - which was a disaster - as well as the Surface 2 and Surface 3, though no entry in the cheaper line of laptop-tablet hybrid devices has achieved the same success as the Pro models.

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

However, the firm later discontinued the Surface RT in 2017. When sales failed to take off, the company went for the more-expensive Surface Pro, a line which has proved popular.

If Microsoft is trying to crawl out of the grave this fall and finally get on IDC's tablet charts for the first time in its history, surely Microsoft must have much more up its sleeve to shake up the market. This was another area in which it fell short of the iPad in terms of functionality and it will be nice to see it come to the cheaper Surface tablet as well.

Apple's tablet business continues to dwarf Microsoft's, generating $20 billion in revenue during the past four quarters, while the Surface business brought in about $4.4 billion in the same period. It's a model that makes sense for a company with so many ties to third-party hardware manufacturers.

Many would consider the Android tablet market to be all but dead and Apple to be the king of tablets. That would put the new Surface tablets at around nine hours of battery life - not bad, but hardly stellar.

The iPad is also equipped with LTE cellular connectivity. With all the efforts on Windows on ARM project, Microsoft might come up with a hero device that is specially designed and optimized to showcase how well ARM devices can handle Windows 10. Apple launched its first iPad Pro in 2015.

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